The Tobacco Free Living (TFL) action team of the Healthy St. Mary’s Partnership works in the community to improve health outcomes by reducing tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke, which contribute substantially to the leading causes of death in St Mary’s County: heart disease, cancer, stroke, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and diabetes.
Faith-based organizations play a pivotal role in strengthening the social fabric of neighborhoods and communities, mobilizing residents to address community issues, promoting volunteerism, and delivering direct services across a broad spectrum to address critical unmet human needs. Faith organizations have the ability to reach a great number of community members on a consistent basis and the TFL team hopes to partner with you local faith-based organizations to provide the tools and expertise needed to promote health and wellness for their congregations.
Smoke Free Holy Grounds is an initiative implemented through pastoral leadership to practice and promote healthy lifestyles in the faith community. It involves a covenant to adopt tobacco-free policies and to promote tobacco prevention and cessation programs for members, with the assistance of public health partners such as the TFL team. In joining this initiative, your congregation will join over 300 other churches across Maryland that are dedicated to a healthy and positive environment. While St. Mary’s County has one of the highest smoking rates in the State of Maryland, we have one of the lowest participation rates in the Smoke Free Holy Grounds initiative. Positive change can be made on both ends with your help.
For more information, contact the St. Mary’s County Health Department at 301-475-4330.