The California tobacco tax funds many programs aiming to create smoke-free environments. In Stanislaus County, the DMC Foundation received state grant funding to operate the Fresh Outdoors Project, which is designed to decrease tobacco exposure were people live, work and play. Its mission is "to reduce exposure to secondhand smoke, discourage tobacco industry sponsorship, and improve air quality in and around Stanislaus County.”
This year the Fresh Outdoors Project initiatives are to end secondhand smoke exposure in and around migrant camps, mobile food vendors (taco trucks) and foster care homes. Program staff have partnered with the Stanislaus County Tobacco Coalition to assist in the effort, and have enlisted 15 taco trucks thus far. The truck operators who have signed smoke-free contracts are located in Modesto, Patterson, Salida, Turlock and Denair.
Reducing health disparities is a priority for DMC Foundation. The Fresh Outdoors Project is a natural extension of this goal and a program that has done tremendous good in the community. Minority groups and the working poor of California continue to be at a higher risk of exposure to secondhand smoke in the workplace. Statistics report that many blue-collar workers in low-income jobs are exposed on a daily basis. According to the California Department of Public Health, nearly 23 percent of those with annual household incomes between $10,000 and $20,000 and 19 percent of Hispanics are regularly unprotected from second hand smoke at work.
Secondhand smoke is known to contain at least 250 chemicals considered to be toxic and/or cancer causing, including formaldehyde, benzene, vinyl chloride, arsenic, ammonia and hydrogen cyanide.
For more information on DMC Foundation’s Fresh Outdoors Project, visit www.dmcf.org.