In Tucson, we have developed a youth-driven organization that uses multiple strategies to reach our goal of reducing teen tobacco use in Tucson by ten percent by the end of the year 2000. These strategies include reducing youth access, providing teen cessation opportunities, increasing positive cues and messages in the community, and educating teens and the community on tobacco issues, thereby supporting positive policy changes. To date, public education and teen activism within the community have resulted in a city youth access ordinance, a city-wide ban on smoking in restaurants, and mid-point data that suggests we are on our way to reaching the goal of a 10% reduction in teen tobacco use.
Teen interns and volunteers organize and drive the specific activities we have used to pursue our goal. These teens have developed projects ranging from a teen-produced magazine to youth rallies, vendor compliance checks, smoke-free social events, cessation classes, legislature visits, and school awareness events. Training workshops and retreats have provided teens with the leadership and advocacy skills and the tobacco knowledge necessary for carrying out these activities. Teens trained in public speaking and advocacy have proved especially effective in generating media interest in such activities, both by acting as media contacts and spokespeople and by constructing events suitable for media coverage. Current efforts to cooperate with a state-funded tobacco control program in a county youth coalition will allow these programs to reach beyond city boundaries and include all area youth.
Learning Objectives: The attendees will gain an understanding of: 1) what it takes to work with youth on tobacco control; 2) how coalitions can combine resources from the public and private sectors to achieve outcomes; 3) what elements are needed to ensure media coverage and community action
Keywords: Tobacco Control, Youth
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA