County gets boost in war on tobacco

By SHARON SALYER

Herald Writer

Anti-smoking efforts in Snohomish County got a quarter-million-dollar windfall Tuesday, its share of the $15 million Washington will receive this year from tobacco companies.

If you go to restaurants, to bowling alleys or to the movies, you will have a front row seat on some of the ways the money will be spent locally.

Plans call for:

  • Stepping up efforts to get more restaurants and bowling alleys to ban smoking.

  • Including anti-smoking messages in the slide shows flashed on theater screens before movies.

  • Displaying anti-smoking messages on area billboards.

  • Setting up displays of smoking cessation or anti-smoking materials for the public.

  • Identifying specific groups in the county with high smoking rates to find better ways of targeting anti-smoking messages.

  • Checks to see if local retailers are requesting identification on youthful customers buying tobacco products to ensure that they are at least 18, the youngest age customers can legally buy these products.

  • Hiring two new health district employees to step up youth and adult smoking cessation and prevention efforts.

    The nearly $226,000 that will be spent by the Snohomish Health District between now and the end of June will nearly double its anti-smoking efforts. The countywide health agency already had allocated $228,000 for such programs in this year’s budget.

    "I’m so excited," Jonnaec Tillman, who works in the local health district’s tobacco prevention program, said of the money that will come to Snohomish County from the tobacco companies.

    Yet, even this larger pool of money is dwarfed by what is spent on tobacco advertising in Washington, she said.

    Tobacco companies spent $100 million in marketing efforts last year in Washington alone or $274,000 a day, according to the state Department of Health.

    "That’s more than we got for the entire year" from the tobacco companies, Tillman said.

    In the first year of the funding, there will be no free smoking cessation products, such as nicotine patches or gum available, she said, because of state requirements on how the money will be spent.

    Basically, the state looked at information gathered by federal health officials on the most effective anti-smoking campaigns nationally as guides for how it should be spent in Washington, Tillman said.

    Free smoking cessation classes are planned for Everett, Edmonds and Monroe early next year, she said.

    The $224,486 being sent to Snohomish County is the third largest allocation in the state.

    King County, the state’s most populous, received $784,001, followed by $277,734 for Pierce County.

    The money is part of a 25-year, $195 billion agreement that was reached between the tobacco companies and states in 1998 as compensation for health problems caused by smoking.

    Statewide efforts include a toll-free "quit line" that will be kicked off Nov. 15 and $4 million spent on anti-smoking television ads.

    Talk to us

    > Give us your news tips.

    > Send us a letter to the editor.

    > More Herald contact information.

  • More in Local News

    A big decision for Boeing’s next CEO: Is it time for a new plane?

    As Boeing faces increased competition from Airbus, the company is expected to appoint a new CEO by the end of the year.

    A Mukilteo Speedway sign hangs at an intersection along the road in Mukilteo. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
    Mukilteo Speedway name change is off to a bumpy start

    The city’s initial crack at renaming the main drag got over 1,500 responses. Most want to keep the name.

    Two workers walk past a train following a press event at the Lynnwood City Center Link Station on Friday, June 7, 2024, in Lynnwood, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
    Trains up and running on Lynnwood Link — but no passengers quite yet

    Officials held an event at the Lynnwood station announcing the start of “pre-revenue” service. Passengers still have to wait till August.

    Nedra Vranish, left, and Karen Thordarson, right browse colorful glass flowers at Fuse4U during Sorticulture on Friday, June 7, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
    A promenade through Everett’s popular Sorticulture garden festival

    Check out a gallery of the festival’s first day.

    Left to right, Everett Pride board members Ashley Turner, Bryce Laake, and Kevin Daniels pose for a photo at South Fork Bakery in Everett, Washington on Sunday, May 26, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
    Second Everett Pride aims for even bigger rainbow of festivities

    Organizers estimated about 3,000 people attended the first block party in Everett. This year, they’re aiming for 10,000.

    Leslie Davis, left, and Lyndsay Lamb, twin sister stars of HGTV's "Unsellable Houses" and 2004 Snohomish High School graduates, donated a private design session to the school's auction fundraiser for their 20-year reunion. (Photo provided)
    Got $2,000? Bid on face time with HGTV’s ‘Unsellable Houses’ twins

    The sisters are offering up themselves in a fundraiser for their Class of 2004 Snohomish High 20-year reunion.

    Everett
    Fake gun sends Cascade High School into lockdown

    Police detained a suspect with a fake weapon around 12:30 p.m. The lockout was lifted before 1:30 p.m.

    The I-5, Highway 529 and the BNSF railroad bridges cross over Union Slough as the main roadways for north and southbound traffic between Everett and Marysville. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
    Highway 529 squeeze starts now between Everett, Marysville

    Following a full closure for a night, starting late Sunday, Highway 529 will slim down to two lanes for months near the Snohomish River Bridge.

    Rose Freeman (center) and Anastasia Allison of The Musical Mountaineers play atop Sauk Mountain near Concrete in October 2017. (Ian Terry / The Herald)
    Musical Mountaineers’ sunset serenade to launch Adopt a Stream campaign

    The nonprofit aims to transform into an “accessible model of sustainability,” with solar panels, electric vehicles and more.

    A Marysville firefighter sprays water on a smoking rail car at the intersection of 116th Street NE and State Avenue around 8 a.m. Thursday, June 13, 2024, in Marysville, Washington. (Mike Henneke / The Herald)
    Rail car catches fire, blocks traffic in Marysville

    Around 7:20 a.m. Thursday, firefighters responded to reports of smoke coming from a rail car near 172th Street NE, officials said.

    Firefighters transported two people to hospitals while extinguishing an apartment fire near Lake Ballinger in Edmonds Wednesday.
    2 injured in Edmonds apartment fire

    At least nine people were displaced by the fire on 236th Street SW, officials said. Nearly 50 firefighters responded.

    U.S. Fish and Wildlife staff place a radio collar on a Grizzly Bear in the Cabinet-Yaak ecosystem. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife / Wayne Kasworm)
    For grizzly bears coming to Cascades, radio collars will keep close tabs

    Tracking an apex predator is tricky. GPS collars play a central role in a controversial plan to repopulate grizzlies in Washington’s wilderness.

    Support local journalism

    If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.