The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

4008.0: Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - Board 10

Abstract #43103

Tobacco prevention and advocacy services for youth: An innovative peer leadership model

Hewitt, R. Joyner, MA and Kathy, E. Lemon, MSW. Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services, Youth Services Division, City of San Jose, 43 East Gish Road #100, San Jose, CA 95112, (408) 501-0983,

Tobacco use is a major public health problem and is responsible for 430,000 deaths every year and between 50 billion and 73 billion dollars in direct medical expenditures. Approximately 80% of adult tobacco users start using tobacco before the age of 18 and it is estimated that 3,000 youth become regular tobacco users everyday in the United States. Tobacco prevention experts have long acknowledged difficulties in developing tobacco prevention services that are effective in preventing youth from using tobacco products. The purpose of this paper is to describe the components of an innovative peer leadership model of tobacco advocacy and prevention. In this model of tobacco prevention services youth are educated and trained on the health effects of tobacco use, the political impact of tobacco corporations on tobacco policy and legislation, and the ways in which tobacco corporations market their products to youth. Once trained, youth then become tobacco prevention leaders in their communities and provide tobacco prevention and advocacy services to their peers through presentations, community organizing and involvement in local politics. This innovative peer leadership model of tobacco prevention and advocacy allows youth to have ownership and input into tobacco prevention in their communities. This model is currently being utilized by the City of San Jose’s Youth Anti-Tobacco Collaborative, a unique organization of 15 government and non-profit agencies working together to involve youth in effective tobacco prevention and advocacy services.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Tobacco, Youth

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
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.

Media Issues in Tobacco Control, Cessation and Prevention Poster Session

The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA