ClearWay Minnesota(SM) to help low-income smokers get quitting assistance

New grants will fund community organizations to connect smokers to services

May 21, 2015, 14:47 ET from ClearWay Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS, May 21, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Yesterday the ClearWay Minnesota Board of Directors approved eight new grants aimed at linking smokers of low socioeconomic status to quitting help. Called Community Engagement grants, the awards, which total $352,000, will fund community-based organizations that serve low-income individuals to connect these individuals with existing tobacco cessation resources.

"Low-income individuals are disproportionately affected by tobacco use," said David Willoughby, Chief Executive Officer of ClearWay Minnesota. "Smoking rates are much higher compared to the general population, and the resulting burden of premature illness and death is substantial. The need for solutions to help address this disparity is urgent."

Smoking has a devastating impact on physical and financial health for people with fewer resources. They are systematically targeted by the tobacco industry, and have less access to health care, health insurance and social support to quit. Secondhand smoke exposure is also much higher among low-income individuals, including children.

Eight organizations have been selected to receive funding for this initiative. All awards are for 12-month projects:

  • The American Indian Cancer Foundation, an organization working to reduce the cancer burden on American Indian families ($50,000);
  • The American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest, a nonprofit with the mission to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, working in partnership with organizations in both Mankato and Washington County ($50,000);
  • Comunidades Latinas Unidas En Servicio (CLUES), an organization that works to improve quality of life for Latinos in Minnesota ($50,000);
  • Lake Superior Community Health Center, a community clinic that provides health care to low-income and uninsured residents in the Duluth area ($41,000);
  • Mental Health Resources, Inc., a nonprofit with the mission to foster hope, health and recovery for those affected by mental illness ($30,000);
  • The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Minnesota, which works to improve the lives of children and adults living with mental illness, and of their families ($31,000);
  • Native American Community Clinic, an organization that promotes wellness and health in American Indian families ($50,000); and
  • RESOURCE, Inc., which provides chemical and mental-health services, education and employment services ($50,000).

"Community organizations understand how to meet the needs of the people they serve," said Willoughby. "These grants will help trusted organizations use their knowledge to improve individual and community health."

About ClearWay MinnesotaSM
ClearWay Minnesota is an independent nonprofit organization that improves the health of Minnesotans by reducing the harm caused by tobacco. ClearWay Minnesota serves Minnesota through its grant-making program, QUITPLAN® stop-smoking services and statewide outreach activities. It is funded with 3 percent of the state's 1998 tobacco settlement. For more information on ClearWay Minnesota or QUITPLAN Services, call 952-767-1400 or visit


SOURCE ClearWay Minnesota