KOLS ( Keeping Our Lungs Safe) is a project funded by the California Tobacco Control Program that aims to reduce tobacco-related health disparities among the African/Black communities. Our goal is to promote health equity through community education and policy change.
KOLS engages concerned community members in activities to facilitate the implementation of smoke-free faith-based campuses, educating our youth about the dangers of smoking and smoke-free multi-unit housing. Additionally, KOLS seeks to inform our elected officials about flavored tobacco products.
Multi Unit Housing
KOLS partners with multi-unity housing property owners, managers and tenants in the cities of Inglewood and Downey to provide information about the dangers of secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke is the smoke from the burning end of a cigarette, pipe or cigar as well as the smoke exhaled by a smoker. KOLS provides resources for individuals looking to protect their health and their properties by becoming smoke-free. The efforts of the KOLS project is to support by educating and informing the community including property owners and local elected officials. By educating community members and elected officials, KOLS supports the initiative to designate 100% of apartments and condominiums in Inglewood and Downey as smoke-free.
KOLS facilitates youth ages 13-24 to engage with the community on tobacco related health disparity issues. The KOLS youth coalition volunteers are trained to effectively educate the community about tobacco control issues. In addition they serve as community leaders by advocating for stronger tobacco control policies. KOLS youth coalitions consist of youth from the cities of Hawthorne, Gardena, Carson, Inglewood, Palmdale and Lancaster.
Faith Based Organizations
KOLS partners with African/Black faith based organizations in an effort to inform this group on health disparities and social injustices associated with tobacco products and the tobacco industry. In partnership with the youth coalition, KOLS hosts seminars, workshops, and information booths at faith-based community events in Inglewood, Gardena, Carson, Compton, Hawthorne, Lancaster, and Palmdale.
Tobacco Retail License
KOLS works to support stronger tobacco retail license ordinances in the cities of Carson, Hawthorne, Palmdale, and Lancaster. Youth coalition members spearhead these efforts by educating their peers on the enticing marketing tactics Big Tobacco utilizes to attract young consumers. By collecting data such as public opinion polls and retail outlet observations, KOLS aims to inform decision makers who are considering amending the tobacco sale laws in their jurisdictions.
The Story of Inequity
The Story of African American/Black
Tobacco is immensely destructive in African American/Black communities, causing more deaths than AIDS, accidents, and homicide combined. (1) Tobacco companies’ manipulative tactics have led to African American/Black communities experiencing the greatest burden of tobacco-related mortality of any racial or ethnic group in the United States. (2) Read more here.