The Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi provides a multi-faceted, systemic approach to reducing the state’s dangerously high rate of tobacco use. Before developing programs, the Partnership conducted both qualitative and quantitative research to ensure age appropriate and culturally tailored messages were implemented. For effectively messaging to Mississippi youth, nationally renowned researchers created two distinct strategies - the Age of Reason (ages 5-12) and the Age of Rebellion (ages 12-18). Using CDC guidelines and the Partnership’s research, the Partnership developed comprehensive educational and advocacy programs in grades K-12. R.A.T. (Reject All Tobacco), designed for K-3rd grade youth, utilizes in-class learning activities and media. A digitally animated purple rat and accompanying performance troupe educate students through a song and dance performance. Trained teachers integrate classroom activities into existing subjects. Television spots urge children to teach up to family members. S.W.A.T. (Students Working Against Tobacco), an activity-based program, targets 4th-7th grade youth. Interactive learning activities, school speakers, and advocacy teams educate and empower students to become tobacco-free advocates on a grass-roots level. For youth over age 12, through a counter marketing and interactive campaign, “Question It”, and Frontline, a community and school advocacy movement, youths are encouraged to explore the freedoms from tobacco manipulation and addiction. The Partnership provides a continuum of specific messaging to youths in grades K-12 through the age targeted programs. The programs and messages are incorporated into the schools, communities, and media throughout the state and all work together to encourage youth to lead positive, healthy, tobacco free lifestyles.
Learning Objectives: 1. Identify ways to effectively intergrate age appropriate messages to youth. 2. Recognize ways to incorporate consistent health education messages into schools, community, and media
Keywords: Youth, Tobacco
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