Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Initiative Awards M Annually to Reduce and Eliminate Access to and Use of Commercial Tobacco

Press Release

Dec 13, 2023

Blue Cross’ Center for Prevention will support six organizations and one Tribal nation to reduce commercial tobacco use in disproportionately affected communities

The Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (Blue Cross) has awarded $1M in funding per year for up to three years to six Minnesota nonprofit organizations and one Tribal nation. This funding is part of the Center’s Commercial Tobacco Equity Initiative, which seeks to reduce and eliminate commercial tobacco access and use in communities most impacted by commercial tobacco-related health inequities. Funded projects reflect community-led strategies by both organizations and Tribal nations to advance policies, systems and environmental changes to positively impact communities disproportionately affected by commercial tobacco. 

“Blue Cross has remained steadfast in our commitment to eliminate the use of commercial tobacco in Minnesota and to address the disproportionate harm to BIPOC and LGBTQ communities,” said Sarah Senseman, Racial and Health Equity Operations Director. “We know that investing in these communities is critical to address the rising influence of new commercial tobacco products and targeted marketing by the tobacco industry.”  

The following organizations were awarded Commercial Tobacco Equity Funding (“Project Name”). Learn more here

  • Association for Nonsmokers Minnesota: “Point of Sale Tobacco Prevention Strategies in Ramsey County”  
  • American Lung Association of Minnesota: “Commercial tobacco in Behavioral Health – Forward with Policy Systems Environment (PSE) Change”  
  • Bois Forte Tribal Council: “Reducing Harms with Asemaa”  
  • Indigenous Peoples Task Force: “Beishigo Asemma Tobacco First”  
  • NorthPoint Health and Wellness Inc.: “Youth and community-focused partnerships to reduce commercial tobacco-related harms and health inequities”  
  • Native American Community Clinic: “Wicozani Chanku- The path to health and wellbeing (in Dakota)”  
  • Sub-Saharan African Youth and Family Services of Minnesota: “SAYFSM Commercial Tobacco Equity”  

About the Center for Prevention 

The Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota advances racial and health equity to transform communities for a healthier Minnesota. Funded through proceeds from Blue Cross’ historic lawsuit against the tobacco industry, The Center invests in community funding programs, public awareness campaigns, and actively advocates for policies, systems and environmental changes to advance community health and health equity across the state. Visit for more information.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota 

For 90 years, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota ( has supported the health, wellbeing and peace of mind of our members by striving to ensure equitable access to high quality care at an affordable price. Our 2.5 million members can be found in every Minnesota county, all 50 states and on four continents. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.


Source: The Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota

Originally published at