San Joaquin County Public Health Services’ Smoking and Tobacco
Outreach Prevention Program (STOPP) is striving to improve the health of the community by
involving youth and adult allies in the state’s Healthy Stores for a Healthy Community (HSHC)
campaign. Stores in the community play a critical role in the economic well-being of the community
as well as the people who visit them. As part of the statewide HSHC Campaign sponsored by the
California Department of Public Health and the California Tobacco Control Program (CTCP),
STOPP is partnering with community members and other community programs to assist
neighborhood retailers in reducing harmful advertising of alcohol and tobacco while increasing
access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
A store’s appearance and choices, both outside and inside, can impact the community’s economy,
physical well-being, and safety of neighborhoods. A 2013 San Joaquin County survey of 132
neighborhood stores that sell alcohol, tobacco and convenience foods, showed that 82.5% have
unhealthy exterior advertising compared to only 9.2% that have healthy exterior advertising
(CTCP, 2013). The survey results also highlighted that only 23.5% of adults in San Joaquin County
ate 3+ servings of fruits and vegetables and that 68.6% of adults are overweight or obese. The
type of products available and the manner in which they are promoted influence the purchases and
the health of the community, especially the youth.
In an effort to encourage healthier behavior, STOPP is collaborating with San Joaquin County
Public Health Services’ Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention (NEOP) program to educate
the community about how exposure to unhealthy advertising and choices contributes to health
disparities in the community. A recent partnership with Oakland’s Mandela Marketplace through
NEOP will help link local farmers and retailers to increase fresh food accessibility for San Joaquin
County residents. In addition, community support and involvement will be vital to the success of
these ongoing collaborative efforts.
Studies have shown that exposure to unhealthy advertising and products have a negative effect on youth behavior and community safety. STOPP is partnering with local law enforcement to bring about positive changes for youth and the community through the HSHC Campaign. STOPP has also reached out to a variety of adult and youth groups such as Friday Night Live (FNL), Re-Invent South Stockton and Stocktonians Taking Action to Neutralize Drugs (S.T.A.N.D) to increase local involvement in support of the HSHC Campaign.
In an effort to increase youth involvement in this project, STOPP invited
local youth and adult groups to attend a recent all-day Youth Engagement Forum
that was sponsored by the California Department of Public Health Nutrition
Education Obesity Prevention Branch, the Public Health Institute and the I-SEEED
organization. In an inspiring high-energy atmosphere, forum facilitators
provided the youth and their adult allies with tools for working together to
become positive change-makers in their neighborhoods. STOPP staff attended the
event to present future program and campaign youth involvement opportunities,
such as conducting community surveys. For more information on how to get
involved with the HSHC Campaign, please call 209-468-2411.
More information www.healthystoreshealthycommunity.com