170947 Youth advocacy program: Training youth on the hazards of tobacco use, peer leadership and refusal skills

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Rebecca Henry, BS , Department of Public Health, Maricopa County Tobacco Use Prevention Program, Phoenix, AZ
As a compliment to a comprehensive tobacco prevention program, the Maricopa County Tobacco Use Prevention Program (MACTUPP) developed the Youth B.E.A.T. Advocacy Guide as a tool for adult leaders of youth groups. Youth B.E.A.T.(Being Educated About Tobacco) trainings are provided to youth advocates and program leaders in to learn the hazards of tobacco use, peer leadership, refusal skills, and prevention activities. The guide was designed as a resource to complement training for building a new youth advocacy program or incorporating tobacco use prevention into existing programs. Since its conception, Youth B.E.A.T. has evolved into a more comprehensive advocacy program that focuses on adolescent leadership training. This interactive training includes information on youth activism, peer leadership, and refusal skills with the intention of building teen resiliency.

Since 2003, MACTUPP has trained more than 415 youth on the short and long term consequences of tobacco use, hazards of secondhand smoke, refusal skills and decision making. Over 95% of the youth participants report understanding the role of a peer leader, why refusal skills are important, and how peer pressure influences decision-making. Further, almost 100% of the youth report being able to use the training and would recommend it to others. Of the adult leaders participating in the workshop for adults; over 90% report having learned the benefits of youth involvement, feel comfortable starting a Youth Advocacy Program, and learned strategies to recruit and keep youth involved. Working closely with school programs and youth organizations, MACTUPP empowers youth advocacy leaders in schools and communities.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe a youth advocacy program focused on training youth on the hazards of tobacco use, peer leadership, refusals skills, and prevention activities. 2. Articulate the components of a successful youth advocacy program. 3. Replicate a comprehensive youth advocacy training program.

Keywords: Tobacco, Youth

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a full-time employee with the Maricopa County Public Health Department as a Health Educator and I do not have any conflict of interests.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.