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A new statewide study will begin this month in hopes of reducing the impact of tobacco use on Missourians’ health. The data will be broken down into county statistics. KSMU’s Justin Lux has the details.
Through the Missouri Foundation for Health, nearly $2 million in funding will be provided for the study. The 12 month survey will take place in every Missouri county, and the city of St. Louis.
The study itself was developed by the MFH in partnership with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. It will examine tobacco use at the local level, as well as chronic diseases that are associated with tobacco use. Matt Kuhlenbeck is a program officer with the Missouri Foundation for Health.
“One of the main reasons why the study was designed the way that it is is to really be able to look within communities and better understand what are the specific health issues that they may be challenged with.”
The information will be gathered through over 47,000 land line interviews and nearly 5,000 cell phone interviews, resulting in the largest adult health survey ever conducted in Missouri.
It follows a similar 2007 study that reached 50,000 Missourians. As was the trend following the first survey, Kuhlenbeck expects many of the counties to make good use of the information provided.
Kevin Gipson, the director of the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, says the data that is provided through the Missouri Foundation for Health is invaluable.
“Certainly we realize the burden of tobacco on the community’s health and to be able to have that evidence and have that good quality data will help us really program around those specific issues and put needed resources where they need to be.”
The University of Missouri Health and Behavior Risk Research Center will be conducting the telephone surveys while a private research firm will be analyzing the data for public use.
For KSMU News, I’m Justin Lux.