Communities for Healthy Air

The primary goal of Communities for Healthy Air was to reduce Minnesotans’ exposure to secondhand smoke by working to pass local smoke-free policies. The advocates in these groups worked tirelessly and effectively to protect the lives of their neighbors from the dangers of secondhand smoke. That meant engaging their citizens, decision-makers, business owners, priority populations, youth and physicians in a community dialogue; orchestrating hundreds of strategic activities; and working with local media.

The collective impact of these efforts created a foundation of experience across Minnesota at the local level that unquestionably helped gain public support for successful passage of Minnesota's historic Freedom to Breathe state law in 2007.

The work didn’t end there. These groups immediately refocused themselves and became invaluable assets in the implementation of that law across the state in late 2007 and early 2008.

The Communities for Healthy Air project has ended. But these skilled, savvy corps of community advocates remain. Some are engaged in other tobacco control issues. Others are taking on other important public health policy issues. Funded communities included: 

  • Anoka County 
  • Beltrami County
  • City of North Mankato
  • Clay County 
  • Kandiyohi County
  • Nobles County
  • Ramsey County
  • Scott County
  • St. Louis County
  • Washington County
  • Making Healthy Choices Possible for All Minnesotans

    The Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota tackles the leading causes of preventable disease -- tobacco use, physical inactivity and unhealthy eating -- to increase health equity, transform communities and create a healthier state.