The mission of The Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi is to provide educational information and awareness about the impact of tobacco on Mississippi and to improve the culture of health in Mississippi by applying lessons learned in tobacco prevention to other leading causes of death and disease impacting our State and Nation.
The Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi was born out of a commitment to fund tobacco prevention and cessation programs included in the state’s 1994 settlement with the tobacco industry. These programs were intentionally designed to reverse the trend of tobacco use in Mississippi and create a robust culture of health and wellness.
A collaborative effort by public and private organizations spearheaded by former Attorney General Mike Moore led to the formation of The Partnership in 1998. Our model was based on the Centers for Disease Control Best Practices and included:
- Tobacco prevention programming for youth in grades K-12;
- Teacher training and materials;
- School-based tobacco nurses;
- Faith-based tobacco prevention programming;
- After-school activities;
- Law enforcement training programs;
- Collegiate prevention programming;
- Statewide tobacco quitline;
- Community-based partnerships; and
- Tobacco treatment services throughout the state.
A National Leader
The Partnership has been a national leader in tobacco prevention since its inception, developing interactive educational and training programs for youth and adults that focus on long-term behavioral and cultural change. Twenty years after the settlement tobacco prevalence among middle and high school students has dropped significantly, and much of the success can be attributed to efforts of our collaborative network.
Lessons learned from tobacco prevention are now being applied to the childhood obesity epidemic in Mississippi, as we continue to work with our partners to improve health outcomes for all Mississippians.