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News and Events

Shade Structure Grant Program

The Alabama Department of Public Health Comprehensive Cancer Control Program accepts applications yearly for the Shade Structure Grant Program beginning in April until the end of June. Depending on the availability of funding, each year up to four public schools are selected to receive up to $15,000 to install shade structures over existing playgrounds to protect students from the harmful effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun while outdoors. To be eligible for the grant, public schools must provide services for children ages 18 and younger; demonstrate an ongoing commitment to sun safety/skin cancer awareness by teaching sun safety in the classrooms, practicing healthy sun-safe behaviors while outside and educating youth on the dangers of UV rays and prevention of skin cancer; receive a letter of recommendation from an active member of the Alabama Comprehensive Cancer Control Coalition; and have a documented need for a shade structure. Additionally, shade structures must meet the stringent shade requirements of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Download our Request for Proposals for more information.

National News

Legislation signed raising the legal age to sell/buy tobacco in retail stores from 18 to 21

As of December 20, 2019, it is now illegal for retailers to sell any tobacco products - including cigarettes, cigars, and e-cigarettes to anyone under the age of 21. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administation, each day about 2,000 youth try their first cigarette and more than 400 become daily cigarette smokers. Early exposure to tobacco products drastically increases the risk of addiction and later development of tobacco-related diseases.

As a first line of defense, retailers play a very important role in protecting children and adolescents from the harms of tobacco. Under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, the FDA educates retailers on the law and compliance through guidance and educational material. These laws are designed to decrease youth and adolescent interest and accessibilty of tobacco products. Visit for a summary of federal rules and regulations for tobacco retailers.

State News

The Alabama Adolescent Vaccination Task Force (AAVTF) Holds First Summit

The Alabama Adolescent Vaccination Task Force (AAVTF), consisting of 17 member organizations, recently convened in Birmingham at the American Cancer Society to discuss the state of HPV in Alabama, HPV vaccination rates, HPV related-cancers, and initiatives to help promote HPV awareness and prevention.

Keynote speakers included Dr. Melinda Wharton, Director, Immunization Services Division of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease, Centers for Disease Control, Dr. Jennifer Young-Pierce, Gynecologic Oncologist, University of South Alabama Mitchell Young Cancer Institute, and Dr. Casey Daniel, Assistant Professor of Oncologic Sciences and Researcher at the USA Mitchell Young Cancer Institute.

Dr. Wharton urged the group to focus on encouraging providers to make “a strong recommendation for HPV” in addition to identifying system strategies to help improve HPV vaccine coverage rates particularly adolescents. Additionally, Dr. Wharton praised Alabama for increasing HPV uptake for the last 5 years and for concerted efforts in promoting prevention of HPV-related cancers. Dr. Young-Pierce presented an impactful discussion stating that “1 in 5 women are currently infected with cancer-causing HPV compared to 1 in 4 men with similar HPV infection”. Dr. Young-Pierce further described the economic impact of HPV disease which is $0.4 billion for cervical cancer and another $6.6 billion for cervical cancer screening. With vaccination, a 62% sharp decline was noted in cervical pre-cancers in screened young women according to Dr. Young-Pierce. Furthermore, Dr. Daniel provided feedback on several HPV vaccination initiatives in Alabama including the “GO Teal and White” campaign which brings awareness to cervical cancer prevention and education.

For continual updates, visit the Alabama Adolescent Vaccination Task Force.

ACCCC Newsletters

May 2019
December 2019
July 2021
March 2022

Page last updated: May 6, 2022