YMCA of El Paso

For Youth Development
For Healthy Living
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A Smoke Free Paso del Norte (ASFPdN) is an initiative of the Paso del Norte Health Foundation. The Paso del Norte Health Foundation (Health Foundation) leads, leverages and invests in initiatives, programs and policies to promote health and prevent disease in the Paso del Norte region.

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Click here to visit the Smoke Free PDN website.

History and Facts -

The region is composed of two countries (USA and México), three states (Texas, New Mexico, and Chihuahua) and five counties (El Paso, Hudspeth, Doña Ana, Otero, and Luna) and includes the Municipio de Cd. Juárez. The Health Foundation funds government, nonprofit, and educational agencies and organizations to work on sustainable, evidence-based approaches to tobacco control in the region. ASFPdN was established in 1999, as one of the Health Foundation’s first priority health areas and set a goal to eliminate smoking in the region.

A Smoke Free Paso del Norte is a comprehensive and coordinated approach to eliminating tobacco use utilizing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) evidence-based approaches. 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 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014).

The American Cancer Society served as the first organizing agency, followed by The University of Texas at El Paso (Department of Psychology and School of Pharmacy). The YMCA of El Paso currently serves as the backbone organization under the collective impact model. Elements focusing on the aforementioned approaches include:

  1. Promote research and evidence-based practices in cessation and prevention efforts;
  2. Transmit theory-based cessation and prevention messaging via varied media channels;
  3. Promote and protect clean air ordinances and smoke-/tobacco-free policies;
  4. Dissemination of tobacco control information and knowledge via the Paso del Norte Tobacco Control Network.

Since its inception Initiative partners have reduced the prevalence of smoking in region. The efforts of the Initiative and its’ partners are recognized as the standard by leading state and national tobacco control organizations.

Regional and local accomplishments of the Initiatives efforts to date include:

  • 2000           Began media efforts on cessation and prevention messaging
                         Established coalitions throughout the region

  • 2001           City of El Paso adopts Public and Workplace Smoking Restriction Ordinance

  • 2003           Implement tobacco awareness programs

  • 2007           State of New Mexico passes Dee Johnson Act, based on Las Cruces smoke-free ordinance (which was rescinded)

  • 2007           City of Socorro adopts smoke-free ordinance

  • 2013           The University of Texas at El Paso adopts tobacco-free campus policy

  • 2014           Updates to City of El Paso Public and Workplace Smoking Restriction Ordinance adopted
                         Las Cruces Gay Pride declares 2014 events smoke-free

  • 2015           Housing Authority of the City of El Paso adopts smoke-free policy

  • 2016           County of El Paso implements a tobacco-free policy on properties

  • 2017           Town of Anthony adopts a comprehensive smoke-free ordinance

  • 2018           City of San Elizario adopts a comprehensive smoke-free ordinance
                         El Paso Pride declares 2018 events smoke-free

Regional collaborative efforts lead to success in the area of tobacco control in the region. Partners will continue to advance the common agenda to make significant positive impacts in the health of the Paso del Norte region.