What is A Smoke Free Paso del Norte and why does it exist?
A Smoke Free Paso del Norte is an initiative of the Paso del Norte Health Foundation. The Paso del Norte Health Foundation leads, leverages and invests in initiatives, programs, and policies to promote health and prevent disease in the Paso del Norte region. The region is composed of two countries (USA and Mexico), three states (Texas, New Mexico, and Chihuahua), five counties (El Paso, Hudspeth, Doña Ana, Otero, and Luna), and includes the Municipio de Cd. Juárez. A Smoke Free Paso del Norte was established in 1999, as one of the Paso del Norte Health Foundation’s first priority health areas and set a goal to eliminate smoking in the region.
A Smoke Free Paso del Norte uses a comprehensive and coordinated approach to eliminating tobacco use utilizing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention best practices. These approaches include eliminating exposure to secondhand smoke, promoting and assisting tobacco users to quit, preventing the initiation of tobacco use, and identifying and eliminating tobacco-related disparities among population groups. The initiative also regularly monitors tobacco product use and sale in the community.
The YMCA of El Paso currently serves as the backbone organization and works towards convening and coordinating a variety of aspects of the Initiative.
Since its inception, the initiative's partners have reduced the prevalence of smoking in the region. The efforts of the initiative and its partners are recognized as the standard by leading state and national tobacco control organizations.