261975 Building community awareness and engagement to support regulation of dissolvable tobacco products

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 2:30 PM - 2:50 PM

Mayo Djakaria, MPH , Evolvement Youth Engagement, Rescue Social Change Group, San Diego, CA
Jeff Jordan, MA , Rescue Social Change Group, San Diego, CA
Background: The emergence of dissolvable tobacco products (DTP) may lead to increased prevalence of tobacco use, particularly among youth. Meltdown is a grassroots public education campaign on dissolvable tobacco products implemented by youth in Virginia (VA) and New Mexico (NM). Methods: Trained tobacco control youth advocates administered surveys during youth-led projects and events to assess public opinion and knowledge regarding DTP and increase public awareness. Convenience sample sizes were N = 8,150 in VA and N = 5,981 in NM. Packaging and flavoring questions were open-ended and all the logos on the packages remained unmodified. Post survey completion, youth discussed potential dangers of DTPs, particularly amongst youth. Results: Based on packaging alone, 35% VA teens and 39% NM teens thought the dissolvable tobacco products were candy, mints, or gum. 23% of VA teens and 26% of NM teens said they would try dissolvable tobacco products based on its packaging. 53% of VA respondents and 48% of NM respondents associated dissolvable tobacco product flavor, with candy, mints, or gum. Conclusions: The findings were compiled in reports and press release formats. The report was submitted and presented to the FDA to be considered in DTP regulations on flavoring and packaging. In addition, multiple earned media have included the youth's findings. The combination of research instruments and youth advocates can increase the appeal of public health issues to media outlets and stakeholders. In addition, research instruments can help focus youth activities to ensure they contribute to larger policy change efforts.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Program planning
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
- Assess whether the public associates packaging and flavoring of dissolvable tobacco products with candy, mints, or gum; - Assess the appeal level of dissolvable tobacco products to different population segments (youth, adults, tobacco users, non-users); - Demonstrate how public participation in grassroots efforts can provide data for policy change.

Keywords: Advocacy, Community Involvement

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am am MPH and was lead developer for Meltdown and conducted the data analysis for the campaign. I also managed the campaign implementation in Virginia and New Mexico since 2009, preparing training materials for youth and educational materials for the public. I have submitted the survey findings on this campaign for FDA Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee. I have presented my findings and this work at conferences and workshops.
Any relevant financial relationships? Yes

Name of Organization Clinical/Research Area Type of relationship
Rescue Social Change Group Youth Engagement Employment (includes retainer)

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.