Working with Faith Communities on Tobacco Control Issues . Jayne Mardock, American Lung Association ANR’s Clearing the Air Institute II Falling Leaf Lake, CA June 2, 2004. They have legitimate moral authority They have access to hundreds (or maybe millions) of people
Working with Faith Communities on Tobacco Control Issues
Jayne Mardock, American Lung Association
ANR’s Clearing the Air Institute II
Falling Leaf Lake, CA
June 2, 2004
They have legitimate moral authority
They have access to hundreds (or maybe millions) of people
They have regular gathering places and meetings that you can tap into
You want broader, more diverse coalition partners
You don’t speak their language
You haven’t been successful in the past in getting them involved
They aren’t very political and shy away from advocacy
You don’t know where to begin
Missing the pitch – think about what excites them, not necessarily what excites you
Rent-a-Pastor – you only include them for the photo op or quote
People power – the clergy is great, but the congregation is greater
All in your head – don’t be afraid to talk your heart and be personal
United Methodist Church
Seventh Day Adventist Church
Presbyterian Church USA
United Church of Christ
Union of Reform Judaism
Love of neighbor
Love of self
Care for the vulnerable
Care for children and the unborn
Killing and murder
Waste of money
One way to care for others is to protect them from the harms of tobacco smoke.
Environmental tobacco smoke inflicts toxic chemicals on your “neighbor” and can cause death as well as illness and discomfort.
Subjecting someone to tobacco smoke is selfish and inconsiderate.
Honor God’s creation by not treating it to the harms in tobacco smoke.
Body is a temple to be cared for. You are not your own, but bought at a price.
We have a greater responsibility and are called to a higher standard of self-control in regard to things not beneficial to us
Tobacco industry targets poor, minority and underserved communities
Rates of youth smoking higher in targeted communities
Tobacco control is a justice issue
When you care for the least of these, you care for me.
Tobacco smoke is especially harmful to the fetus and child because they are still developing
Children and youth are targeted by tobacco companies to replace adult smokers who will become ill and die from the habit
Children don’t choose their environments and are forced to live in a smoking section
Central prohibition in all religions against killing or murder
Smoking kills not just the tobacco user but those who are in breathing range of smoker
Given the known health risks and mortality, smoking is a slow form of suicide
It’s a habit that is harmful to the body
Our actions are a testimony to the world
Do not be conformed by the world, but be transformed so you will be a living witness
God gives us strength to overcome this addiction
We need to be better stewards of our resources and money
The money spent on tobacco products can be used for things that promote good
What do you want to accomplish?
Engage a larger public to build momentum
Pass specific legislation/initiative
Who are the religious leaders in your community? Are there dominant faith traditions that have more influence?
Where do key officials worship?
Yourself, staff and board contacts with various congregations
Smoking cessation classes, especially those in church buildings
Religious hospitals and health facilities
Interfaith groups that focus on social issues
What do they need to be better advocates – training, materials, resources?
How can you help them engage the larger congregation/denomination?
Are there other programs, such as cessation classes, or new mothers groups that you could support with programs?
Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids has brought together national religious denominations and organizations on a national statement and other advocacy
Target states include: CO, CT, IN, NJ, OH, OR, VA, potential expanding into NC
Letters to President Bush and Senator Kerry from 20 national religious leader
Asks for FDA authority over tobacco claims and advertising
Increase the tobacco tax and use money for cessation and child health care
For our children’s sake, we urge you
Celebrating its 100th anniversary, the American Lung Association works to prevent lung disease and promote lung health. Lung diseases and breathing problems are the leading causes of infant deaths in the United States today, and asthma is the leading serious chronic childhood illness. Smoking remains the nation’s leading preventable cause of death. Lung disease death rates continue to increase while other leading causes of death have declined.
The American Lung Association has long funded vital research on the causes of and treatments for lung disease. It is the foremost defender of the Clean Air Act and laws that protect citizens from secondhand smoke. The Lung Association teaches children the dangers of tobacco use and helps teenage and adult smokers overcome addiction. It educates children and adults living with lung diseases on managing their condition. With the generous support of the public, the American Lung Association is “Improving life, one breath at a time.”
For more information about the American Lung Association or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) or log on to www.lungusa.org.