CONTACT: Mai Moua, Ph.D.
December 1, 2016 Chief Operating Officer
(651) 495-1517

HAP Receives $500,000 from MN Department of Health to Initiate a Tobacco-Free Community Grant for Southeast Asian Communities
Saint Paul, MN – Hmong American Partnership (HAP) has been selected to receive $500,000 over five years from the MN Department of Health for their Southeast Asian Tobacco Free Project which will provide comprehensive, culturally based, and community centered approaches to address tobacco use within Southeast Asian communities, specifically targeting the Hmong, Karen(ni), and Bhutanese within the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area.

Community input and engagement are important to change community views and attitudes around tobacco as it is an integral part of customs and rituals in many Southeast Asian communities. HAP is the largest nonprofit provider in the State of Minnesota that serves the Hmong and newly arrived refugees who are coming from Nepal, Burma, Bhutan, and Somalia. These groups have relatively high smoking rates and have little knowledge on the harms of tobacco and current Minnesota smoke-free laws.

“Southeast Asian communities in Minnesota have suffered from high rates of tobacco use and high rates of chronic diseases associated with firsthand and secondhand smoking,” noted Bao Vang, President & CEO of HAP. “That’s why I’m so pleased that HAP was selected as one of eleven grantees to implement activities that help build community readiness and capacity towards tobacco control policies.”The Tobacco-Free Communities Grant Program (TFC) funds local community grants and technical assistance and training (TA) grants that aim to reduce and prevent youth tobacco use and address tobacco-related disparities in Minnesota by promoting community-driven tobacco prevention and control activities and strategies.


HAP is a community development organization whose mission is: to empower the community to embrace the strengths of our cultures while achieving our potential. HAP provides critical services and support to more than 15,000 community members annually. For more information about HAP and its programs, please visit