A detailed community assessment and input from a variety of local stakeholders allowed the city of La Mirada, California to set lofty goals for improving health. With plenty of room for improvement locally, a collaborative group targeted workplaces as a site for beginning a culture change.
The challenge: Create smoke-free zones in a community where local governments have limited authority to regulate their environment and where tobacco is a $61 million enterprise. The success: 200 signs in 50 smoke-free places in Arlington, Virginia, new local partnerships to address chronic disease, and a collaborative environment ready to make more changes.
The community of Longview, Washington looked at the data; nearly 30% of pregnant women smoked during pregnancy, and rates for teens and adults were also high. Despite having a “Clean Air Act” that prohibited smoking in bars and restaurants, many places were still not smoke free.
Casper, Wyoming is home to about 55,000 residents; it is a small city with 42 parks, an indoor ice rink and a "small but developing" system of trails. And, Casper, like many communities in the U.S., is struggling with poor health statistics, an epidemic of chronic diseases including obesity, and a lack of coordination between public agencies.