Adolescent Health- Tobacco Prevention Ideas!

How can our tobacco prevention public health partners support youth tobacco prevention and cessation? In a couple of weeks, I have the opportunity to work with 75 Kentucky county tobacco coordinators. My hope is to work with them on some visioning and discuss evidence-based strategies when doing this work. I won't have time to focus specifically on adolescent health, as the day's focus is on all of Kentucky's population, however, wanted to suggest some ideas for anyone working on youth tobacco prevention/intervention! Here goes...

1. Work with one district that just adopted a strong comprehensive policy that is ready to go from awareness (policy is there, but only awareness of it exists) to implementation. Content support may include: Systems Thinking Systems Changing Simulation, Tobacco Policy, School/District Wellness Councils, School Health Index completion to drive action planning, review local YRBS data around tobacco, analyze inventory/Index results and prioritize, evidence-based tobacco prevention programs and practices, action planning, implementation of action plans, evaluation and sustainability work.

2. Photovoice Project- Youth ages 12-19 are asked to submit a photo that speaks to:

·      A healthier State

·      A smoke-free State

·      Tobacco prevention

·      Effects of tobacco

·      Other TBD

Photos are submitted by a certain date and state convenes a group of experts to judge photos, using a scoring rubric that has been developed and shared as contest rules/process is distributed.Use some dollars to offer prize money to 3 winners. Contest is an opportunity to partner with school related arts, school health and state and local tobacco prevention partners. It’s also an opportunity to do some advocacy for tobacco prevention. An evening event may be held where top 10 photos are displayed and invite partners, youth, etc.

3. Host and facilitate a Comprehensive Tobacco Prevention Implementation Workshop for School Board Members. Objectives:

-Review State's school tobacco prevention law;
-Learn definitions and review effective practices in tobacco prevention policies, practices and programs in schools;
-Draft school board policy that aligns with State's comprehensive tobacco prevention law;
-Develop effective media messages for their communities.

Analyze and assess all tobacco policies from all districts in State/region and score them using a rubric based in best practice. Create a statewide map with a key marking districts as gold, silver and bronze. Bring that map to training events and administrator and school board conferences and share via social media.

4. Offer Tobacco Prevention Curricula Training events to two districts that apply. Application will include a readiness checklist. Trainer facilitates a one day training on Foundations of Health Education and participants will use CDCs HECAT to select an evidence based or promising practice tobacco curriculum that best fits their district’s needs. Trainer supports district presentation to their school board for adoption of this curriculum, if applicable. Once adopted, a 2-day tobacco prevention curriculum training on the program selected will cover the following goals and objectives.

5. Host a full-day Systems Thinking Systems Changing™ simulation training with youth (middle and high school-aged) and policy makers/education leaders. Systems Thinking/Systems Changing™ is used by teams in workshop settings to experience what it takes to make effective systemic change in schools. It provides opportunities for youth, educators, school boards and councils, leadership teams, school administrators, educational consultants and reformers about the structures and strategies that schools need to be continuously improving learning organizations that are the best they can be. It supports doing systems change in schools, including policy creation, revision and implementation. 

6. Facilitate positive youth development action research project around Tobacco Prevention. Includes 3 non-consecutive full day workshops.