December 2023 | Happy Holidays from The SOL Project
The SOL Project had a good year working with the community and partner organizations to bring us toward a future where tobacco isn’t recruiting young smokers and sustaining the addiction of people who smoke to use their deadly products contributing to the premature death of African Americans.
Same Game Different Smoker Gallery Exhibit
SOL hosted the Same Game Different Smokers Exhibit at the 35th annual Black Expo from February 24th – 26th in Sacramento, CA. The Exhibit is an exploration of the troubling relationship the tobacco industry has had with the Black community for over 400+ years. Originally created by the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council (AATCLC), this self-guided exhibit is a collection displaying physical and cultural exploitation, predatory marketing, advertising, activism and otherization of African Americans through archival ads and images. SOL assisted AATCLC in expanding the original display into a traveling exhibition that included displays and videos to encourage thoughtful introspection and activism towards the endgame of tobacco use and access. Hundreds of attendees viewed the exhibit over the 3-day Expo and several asked how they could be involved! If you are interested in hosting this exhibit in your area, contact AATCLC.
New program – Making Homes and Outdoor Places Safer
Introducing our latest initiative: Empowering Local Communities to End the Tobacco Epidemic. Launched in May 2023, this California Tobacco Prevention Program funded endeavor is dedicated to fostering healthier communities. Our focus lies in eliminating exposure to second-hand smoke and creating smoke-free environments within multi-unit housing and outdoor spaces in Sacramento County's unincorporated areas. Together, we're championing safety, well-being, and a tobacco-free future for all. Join us in this vital journey towards making homes and outdoor places safer.
City of Stockton Successfully Adopts Strong Tobacco Retailer Licensing Ordinance
We are delighted to announce that the City of Stockton successfully adopted a robust Tobacco Retailer Licensing (TRL) ordinance (June 2023), marking a significant step towards enforcing tobacco sales laws at the local, state, and federal levels. The San Joaquin Tobacco Outreach and Prevention Program (STOPP) Coalition is thrilled with this progressive move and commends the City of Stockton for its commitment to promoting a healthier community.
The decision to implement a comprehensive TRL ordinance was influenced by overwhelming public support. One of the primary motivations was the concern over the proliferation of vape products collected from students in schools, largely due to the excessive number of tobacco retailers in Stockton. With the adoption of the TRL ordinance, Stockton has taken a decisive step towards
addressing this issue. The new regulations will effectively restrict flavored tobacco, impose strict penalties on licensees, and ensure that tobacco retailers maintain a minimum distance of 600 feet from one another.
AMP-UP Faith Leader Training
In October we hosted an AMP-UP Faith Leader Training for faith-leaders and community members interested in helping to fight against the tobacco industries' predatory influence in African American communities that cause early addiction among youth and loss of life. It brought together faith leaders and ministries to learn how to join SOL Project and Amplify! in celebrating our African American sisters and brothers who have quit smoking, support others still on their journey to being smoke-free and give self-help resources like mobile apps.
PRESS CONFERENCE: A Shift from Harm Reduction to Endgame Strategies
On November 7th, SOL hosted a press conference with tobacco prevention partners and advocates from the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council (AATCLC), Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), The Poet Life, University of California San Francisco UCSF), and the Greater Sacramento Smoke and Tobacco Free Coalition (GSSTFC) to educate the public on the progress we have made within tobacco prevention, why tobacco is still an issue and the shift towards the tobacco endgame. Sacramento City Council Tobacco Prevention Champion Vice Mayor Eric Guerra also spoke about why he supports best practices in tobacco prevention and why his colleagues should take bold steps in consideration of protecting the health and well-being of vulnerable populations, youth, and all residents by shifting towards tobacco endgame solutions. The press conference was recorded live on Facebook and received over 22,000 views to date!
Breaking Free Day
The SOL Project joyously marked Breaking Free Day in collaboration with Amplify, celebrating individuals triumphing over nicotine addiction. Celebrated on November 20th in California this year, Breaking Free Day strives to liberate African Americans from the clutches of mentholated cigarettes and eliminate tobacco industry influence in their communities. This annual celebration, set to become a national event next year, sparks hope and community action. It pays tribute to those rejecting tobacco's harm, embracing self-care, and resisting industry exploitation. The day encourages individuals and organizations to help support people who want to quit smoking, connects participants with supportive resources and features testimonials from those who successfully quit in Sacramento and Los Angeles. The goal is for individuals, organizations, and communities to unite in fostering healthy, joyous lives free from nicotine.