About

Who we are

We are a volunteer organization dedicated to the reduction of tobacco use and its effects on the citizens of Buffalo County and south central Nebraska.  Our coalition is continually working with businesses and Kearney residents to promote a smooth transition to smoke-free workplaces as a result of the Nebraska Clean Indoor Air Act.  After the implementation of this law, we will work to maintain smoke-free standards while raising awareness with our youth and adults about the dangers of tobacco use.

What we do

We support tobacco-free policies for Kearney’s outdoor recreation facilities.  We conduct media campaigns on the dangers of secondhand smoke and the prevention of tobacco use among youth.  We promote smoke-free homes and multi-unit housing and smoke-free vehicles.  These campaigns and initiatives help raise awareness of the health risks associated with secondhand smoke exposure.

In collaboration with the University of Nebraska at Kearney’s Peer Health Education program, we sponsor tobacco prevention programs on the UNK campus.  We also support Buffalo County School Tobacco Prevention activities by developing and implementing billboard advertisements and public service announcements.

The numbers don’t lie

Nationally, tobacco is the number one cause of preventable death in America. Tobacco kills more than 480,000 people in the United States every year and costs the nation $96 billion in health care annually. Every year, 2,500 Nebraskans die from smoking. These national problems affect Buffalo County too:

  • 17.0% (2014) of adult Nebraskans smoke cigarettes*.
    • 20.0% – 2011
    • 16.7% – 2009
    • 19.9% – 2007
  • 13.0% (2015) of Nebraska youth smoke cigarettes**.
    • 15.0% – 2011
    • 18.4% – 2009
    • 22.3% – 2007
  • 89.0% (2015) of homes in Nebraska have a smoke-free policy
    • 85% in 2011
    • 85.0% – 2009
    • 82.8% – 2007
    • 71.1% – 2000
  • 85.2% (2015) of family vehicles in Nebraska are smoke-free
    • 80.2% – 2011
    • 80.2% – 2009
    • 78.1% – 2007
    • 72.3% – 2000
  • 92% of students at the University of Nebraska at Kearney believe the typical student smokes… in reality, 65% of UNK students do not smoke (ACHA-NCHA 2010).
  • 43% of 9th-12th graders in Buffalo County have tried smoking cigarettes (ACHA-NCHA 2010).
  • 11% of 9th-12th graders in Buffalo County currently smoke at least one cigarette a day (ACHA-NCHA 2010).

(Sources: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, Nebraska Adult Tobacco Survey/Social Climate Survey, American College Health Association-National College Assessment, Buffalo County Youth Risk Behavior Survey, and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.)

* have smoked at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime, and smoke every day or some days
**smoked at least one cigarette in the last 30 days

You’ll find a lot of the information in this resource: Data and Trends on Tobacco Use in Nebraska 2016

Quitting Time

The Buffalo County Tobacco Free Coalition maintains a library of tobacco prevention resources such as DVDs and educational videos for both young children and adults.  We also have several brochures and other items available to help you when you’re ready to quit tobacco.  If you or someone you know wants to quit tobacco, call the Nebraska Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-Quit-Now (1-800-784-8669).  The Quitline connects you with real people offering real solutions, and it’s free and completely confidential.

Buffalo County Tobacco Free Coalition

An organization founded for the purpose of informing people, youth, and families of the dangers of tobacco use, eliminating exposure to secondhand smoke, and promoting abstinence for nonsmokers and cessation for users.

Established 1995

The Buffalo County Tobacco Free Coalition meets the first Thursday of each month at 12:15 p.m. in the Region 3 Behavioral Health Services Conference Room.

4009 6th Avenue
Suite #65
Kearney, NE 68848

We invite you to join our cause to reduce the use of tobacco, which is the number one preventable cause of death in the United States, Nebraska, and Buffalo County.

For more information, call us at 308-237-5113, ext. 265.

Funding for this website provided by the Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services / Tobacco Free Nebraska Program as a result of the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement.