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Ask the Expert: What is the BUILD Health Challenge?

What is the BUILD Health Challenge? (WKRC)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - You might be able to help your loved ones and neighbors quit smoking all thanks to a new grant program announced on Tuesday.

It's called the “BUILD Health” challenge: Bold, Upstream, Integrated, Local, and Data-driven.

St. Elizabeth Healthcare and several other organizations in Northern Kentucky have been awarded money and they want to give it to you.

The hope is that it will help people in area neighborhoods to reduce smoking rates that have been higher than average locally for a long time.

“We do have a problem in Kentucky, we're number one in smoking rates in Kentucky, and even here locally we have a wide range of smoking percentages, the highest being in Covington at 38 percent,” said Sarah Giolando, a St. Elizabeth Healthcare Chief Strategist Officer.

So smokers in Covington and other areas in Northern Kentucky, such as Gallatin County, are going to be asked as part of this BUILD Health challenge to build their own programs that what would help them quit.

“Our neighbors, our friends, they'll be able to come up with ideas and get some funding to enact things, so it's really up to the neighbors in their own community to figure out how to solve this for themselves,” said Sarah.

Those with workable ideas will be given money to get the programs going in their neighborhoods. That, along with more smoke-free businesses, makes St. Elizabeth Healthcare hope for measurable results.

“We're looking for just a two percent reduction in Covington and a one percent in Gallatin County, which is starting with a lower rate. We won’t see the health outcomes immediately but it's surprising even states that have gone into a smoke free environments have seen in the next year, reduced hospital admissions for smoking related causes,” said Sarah.

BUILD Health also plans to focus on younger people who get hooked and they also want to focus on vaping, which is a popular trend in young adults.

They chose Covington and Gallatin County just to get city and rural areas involved.

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