The 76th Legislature appropriated interest from the $200 million Permanent Endowment for Tobacco Education and Enforcement to the Texas Department of Health (currently Department of State Health Services) to prevent tobacco use and promote cessation. Working with eight state university partners, DSHS conducted a pilot study in eighteen East Texas communities to evaluate the effectiveness of various combinations of tobacco prevention interventions.
To view maps of each community along with intervention descriptions, click on the links below. To enlarge each map on your screen, move your mouse pointer onto the map, then click on the sizing icon that appears on your screen.
In Port Arthur, DSHS and its local partners developed and implemented comprehensive programs (high level media campaigns and combined community programs for prevention and cessation) at a total cost of three dollars per capita. The per capita cost is calculated for the entire population of the community. The comprehensive program included school/community interventions, cessation programs, enhanced law enforcement, intensive media campaigns, surveillance and evaluation and a statewide infrastructure.
In other communities, lower levels of expenditure ranging from $0.25 to $2.50 per capita supported lower intensity combinations of the interventions (i.e., not comprehensive). These included a less intensive media campaign, and single-focus community or school programs.
The comprehensive tobacco prevention program achieved significant results: a forty percent decline in usage among 6th and 7th graders and a significant increase in cessation among older youth and adults. The results from the communities with the less-intensive programs did not show a measurable reduction in tobacco usage among either adults or children.
Additional funding appropriated by the 77th Legislature was used to expand the successful $3 per capita comprehensive program beyond its original boundaries to include Harris, Fort Bend, Jefferson and Montgomery Counties. These counties account for approximately one-fifth of the Texas population, and are located in Health Service Regions 4, 5 and 6.