Our comprehensive youth advocacy training program is geared toward middle and high school students to equip them with skills to create change in their communities and fight for the first tobacco-free generation.
Most people start using tobacco in their pre-teen and teen years, a time during which a youth’s brain is still growing, making it easier to get addicted to the nicotine in tobacco. That’s why it’s important to educate youth about the dangers of tobacco and the fact that they are targeted by the tobacco companies and should say “no” to starting.
Increasing the price of tobacco products and presenting messages that counter the tobacco industry’s marketing are among the ways in which we can help youth never start using tobacco.
Policies that make “tobacco-free” the norm and that protect youth from getting and using these deadly products are also important. 24/7 tobacco-free school policy, prohibiting the sale of flavored tobacco products, and having tobacco-free outdoor parks and beaches are all examples of policies that may help prevent kids from using tobacco.
The Tobacco Prevention Toolkit is a theory-based and evidence-informed educational resource created by educators and researchers aimed at preventing middle and high school students’ use of tobacco and nicotine products. Developing this Toolkit was accomplished by partnering with key stakeholders (educators, parents, and students), others involved in tobacco or health education, and scientists. We also conducted formative research to inform our curriculum, including holding a series of focus groups with students, health educators, tobacco prevention researchers, leaders within the California Department of Education’s Tobacco Control Branch, and basic scientists focusing on tobacco, e-cigarettes, and addiction, to identify the most important content areas that need to be included, delivery strategies that are engaging for youth, and to obtain the latest evidence known about each tobacco product to ensure that the information presented in our curriculum is accurate.
This study assessed support for commercial tobacco retail policies among adults. Overall, 62.3% of adults supported a policy prohibiting the sale of menthol cigarettes, and 57.3% supported a policy prohibiting the sale of all tobacco products. A majority of adults supported tobacco retail policies aimed at preventing initiation, promoting quitting, and reducing tobacco-related disparities. These findings can help inform federal, state, and local efforts to prohibit the sale of tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes.