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UC Merced Hosts Tobacco Control Summit

May 21, 2024

The community is invited to an all-day summit where researchers will present cutting-edge information on the latest efforts to stem tobacco use in the San Joaquin Valley and surrounding foothills.

The Tobacco Control Summit is scheduled for Thursday, June 6 at The Mainzer, 655 W. Main St. in downtown Merced. Capacity is limited so attendees are urged to register by 5 p.m. Wednesday, May 22.

Tobacco is a significant health concern in rural areas of the Valley. The prevalence of cigarette smoking among rural adults in the United States was reported at 28.9% in 2021, notably higher than the general adult population's 11.5%. Smokeless tobacco is also used more extensively than in urban communities.

The summit is co-sponsored by UC Merced’s Nicotine and Cannabis Policy Center and Health Sciences Research Institute .

“We will prominently feature community-led tobacco prevention and control initiatives, especially those that involve Latino communities and Native Americans in the San Joaquin Valley and local foothills,” NCPC Director Arturo Durazo said. “We will address environmental justice and plans for a community-driven data dashboard.”

Durazo said the summit underscores NCPC’s commitment to community-engaged scholarship by amplifying the voices of the center’s trainees, including undergraduate students, doctoral candidates and postdoctoral scholars. The meeting also will highlight innovative work by and insights from emerging tobacco control leaders.