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TSET Better Lives Through Better Health - 15th Anniversary 2000-2015 Facebook Twitter

TSET Board of Directors awards community grants to serve 63 counties

Healthy Living Logo

The TSET Board of Directors at their quarterly meeting in May, approved the award of $14 million for 50 community based grants to serve 63 counties statewide as part of the TSET Healthy Living grant program.

The 5-year grant program seeks to prevent and reduce tobacco use and obesity by working with businesses, cities and governments, schools, and community institutions and organizations, to help make the healthy choice the easy choice. Work on the TSET Healthy Living grant program will begin July 1.

This new initiative will replace TSET’s long-running Communities of Excellence grants. Check out a full list of grantees here.

The TSET Board of Directors also approved $25,500 in grants to six school districts and two school sites. Read more about our Healthy Schools and District awards by clicking here.

Want to learn more about what happened at TSET in FY 2014? Check out our Annual Report


The FY 2014 Annual Report is now online. This annual report highlights TSET's work to prevent and reduce the leading causes of death in Oklahoma - cancer and cardiovascular disease. Through a comprehensive strategic plan, the TSET Board of Directors approves grants and programs that seek to reduce the preventable causes of these diseases - tobacco use, poor nutrition and physical inactivity. Access the full report by clicking here.   

Kevin Durant MVP Shape Your Future Challenge winners announced

KD Winners


 Congratulations to Josiah from Norman, our KD challenge grand prize winner!  Josiah and his mom, brother and sister attended the OKC Thunder vs. Sacramento Kings game from the best seats in the house. They even got to meet Rumble and the MVP himself, Kevin Durant. Check out the video Josiah submitted here. There were a total of 511 video submissions throughout the challenge, see them all on the SYF Facebook page

Oklahoma Tobacco Research Center holds research symposium

OTRC Symposium


The Oklahoma Tobacco Research Center hosted a research symposium with presentations based on articles from the recent Oklahoma supplement of the American Journal of Preventative Medicine. Sessions at the Symposium covered topics including: Community Engagement, Basic Sciences in Tobacco Research, Prevention Research, and Cessation Initiatives.


City of Lawton receives $160,000 in grant funds for health-promoting projects


Lawton was awarded an incentive grant at the gold level for adopting policies and strategies that promote health and quality of life in their community. This is the second time Lawton has received a Healthy Communities Incentive Grant from TSET. In total, the City of Lawton has received $175,000. The TSET Board of Directors approved the award at their last quarterly board meeting in February.

In Lawton, the grant funds will be used to purchase and install trail lighting on walking, jogging and cycling trails in Elmer Thomas Park, and Greer Park. Funds will also be used for the construction of trail extensions and help create connections within the City of Lawton’s recreation trail system and add navigational signage on the trails.

Read the full press release here

One billion fewer packs of cigarettes sold in Oklahoma

 In April, the major tobacco companies paid the State of Oklahoma $76.9 million as part of the 1998 national Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) between 46 states and the tobacco industry. As required by the Constitution, 75% or $57.6 million, was deposited in the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) fund for investment. 

It is important to remember that the Master Settlement Agreement was reached after Oklahoma and other states sued the tobacco industry to recover funds for state expenses incurred in the treatment of smoking-caused illnesses. The lawsuits alleged that the tobacco companies used a wide range of deceptive and fraudulent practices when marketing cigarettes.

For TSET, this year’s payment was a milestone, bringing the trust fund balance to just over $1 billion.  The endowment has grown over time because of the wisdom of our state leaders and Oklahoma voters, to invest the payments, and use only the earnings for programs to improve health.

And yet, it isn’t the money we celebrate today. Over the past 15 years, as the trust fund balance was growing to $1 billion, cigarette sales declined to the tune of 1 billion fewer packs sold in our state!

Outcomes this big take years to achieve. Fifteen years after voters approved the creation of the endowment, we are celebrating tremendous accomplishments as a result of TSET’s program investments, and the efforts of dedicated grantees, coalitions, organizations, and individuals working together to make Oklahoma a healthier place to live, work, learn, and play.

The slogan at the time of the campaign 15 years ago was, “Save it, Grow it, Spend it on Health.”

And we have. And it is working.

Be sure to check out our FY 14 annual report, which focuses on the landmark public health accomplishment of the Master Settlement Agreement, and the work of our grantees and partners across the state.

As the investment earnings continue to grow, the TSET Board of Directors has strategically expanded its program investments to include approaches that promote healthy eating and active living, recruit physicians to rural and underserved areas, and create life-saving discoveries in research in cancer and tobacco-related diseases.

Oklahoma has become a model for the use of MSA funds, and as a result of this endowment, we are one of a few states that cannot be labled as “addicted” to tobacco money. If cigarette sales stopped tomorrow, Oklahoma would have this endowment trust fund, to generate earnings for programs to improve the health of Oklahomans for generations to come.  As Oklahomans, this is one victory that truly belongs to us all.


From challenges and contests to holidays, events and everyday information, Shape Your Future is finding ways to make the healthy choice the easy choice. Find out what healthy fun we have this month, and check out our most recent commercials, too.

McLoud Public Schools honored for work to promote health

McLoud Check

McLoud was honored in April for their efforts to promote health and wellness for students and staff. Uniquely, the school district, and 3 schools sites have received a total of $12,500 in incentive grant funds from TSET through TSET’s Healthy School Incentive Grant program.

Tracey Strader presented a $5,000 grant award check to the District, and the school sites received certificates for incentive grants in the amounts of $1,500, $2,000 and even $4,000.

The Elementary and High School are using funds for sidewalk construction, while McLoud Middle School is using their funds for purchasing curriculum and materials for Health & Physical Education classes. 

 Read the full press release here for more information.