The Problem: Nationwide efforts to reduce smoking in the United States have been successful. Yet, there is unequal geographic progress in reducing rates of smoking and smoking-related illnesses. Located in a tobacco-producing state with weak tobacco laws, Nashville, Tennessee, has an adult smoking rate of 22.0%, requiring 45,000 smokers to quit to meet the Healthy People 2020 goal of 12%.

Purpose: The purpose of this article was to detail the development a community–academic partnership (CAP) and its process for devising a local implementation strategy for tobacco control.

Key Points: Nashville's CAP developed with a community-based organization (CBOs) seeking out an academic partner. This unique approach addressed many of the challenges CAPs face, helped identify priorities and potential barriers to success and led to early wins.

Conclusion: The success of Nashville's efforts suggests that CAPs should clearly delineate roles for members of the CAP, engage diverse stakeholders, be responsive to the community, and allow adequate time for planning and prioritizing.