Community Tobacco Use Prevention Coalitions: Director and Staff Opinions

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Purpose: The purpose of this research is to assess whether differences occurred between directors and staff in community tobacco use prevention coalitions in Mississippi. Community coalitions, which are organizations working together for a common purpose involve representatives of diverse institutions focusing on issues in a local community. Because of their different roles, directors and support staff may view their coalition differently.

Design/Methodology/Approach:Thirty directors and 14 support staff of tobacco use prevention coalitions anonymously answered a lengthy questionnaire about their coalition personnel and functioning.

Findings: Both coalition directors and support staff agreed that their coalition had formal rules and effective management, reduced tobacco use, and benefited their region. In addition, directors and support staff reported high ownership, and positive opinions of member and personnel expertise. Further, directors and support staff favored taking tobacco industry money for themselves or their coalition. However, directors and support staff were neutral in satisfaction and in difficulty managing their coalition, and slightly negative in ratings of member‐member and member‐personnel communication, directors more negative than support staff on member‐personnel communication.

Practical Implications: Strengthening communication seems to be a place where there is room for improvement in the present tobacco use prevention coalitions.

Originality/Value: Presently, those actually working in a tobacco use prevention coalition were still idealistic about their efforts, but continued frustrations with communication may dampen their enthusiasm in the future.

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Health Education





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