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CVS Health partnership to support tobacco-free women’s colleges

In an effort to help colleges and universities adopt and implement 100% smoke and tobacco free campus policies, CVS Health and Truth Initiative are urging women's colleges in the United States to apply for their grant program. Applications for grants are being accepted through September 13, 2018.

Currently, only 10 of 38 women's colleges and just 1,853 of all colleges and universities in the United States have 100% tobacco-free policies in place. More than 200,000 women die of tobacco-related diseases, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

Additionally, 13.6% of women smoke cigarettes and 15.4% use some type of tobacco product. Research also shows that over the past several decades, women have been slower to quit than men, with a 40% smoking rate decrease by men compared to just a 30% decrease by women.

"While there has been great progress made in reducing smoking in our country, research shows that casual smoking, especially among women, has continued in recent years, and college-aged women are at particular risk for becoming smokers," CVS Health Foundation president Eileen Howard Boone said. "Through our continued partnership with Truth Initiative, we are encouraging the remaining women's colleges to take the next step in becoming tobacco-free campuses and bring us one step closer to a tobacco-free generation."

The latest grants are part of Be The First, CVS Health's five-year, $50 million initiative that supports education, tobacco control, and healthy behavior programming with a goal of helping to deliver the nation's first tobacco-free generation. Since 2016, CVS Health has reached more than 4 million young people with the help of the nation's leading tobacco control partners and is building upon the 146 colleges and universities they are helping become tobacco-free with this additional support for Truth Initiative.

"Our partnership with the CVS Health Foundation has already helped hundreds of thousands of students, faculty and staff at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, community colleges and minority-serving institutions learn and work in tobacco- and smoke-free environments," Truth Initiative CEO and president Robin Koval said.
"We are eager to expand our grant program to include women's colleges and help accelerate progress in creating the first tobacco-free generation especially among women whose smoking rates have declined slower than men."

"With generous support from Truth Initiative and CVS Health Foundation, more of our 38 women colleges and universities will have the opportunity to adopt tobacco- and smoke-free campus policies," Women's College Coalition president Michele Ozumba said. "We're proud to be part of this important movement as it aligns perfectly with Women's College Coalition's commitment to building a culture of health across all of our member institutions."

More information can be found at Grants are also available to Historically Black Colleges and Universities, community colleges and other minority-serving institutions.
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