Youth Tobacco Action Group
Wellspring Center for Prevention’s Coalition for Healthy Communities will work with the New Jersey Prevention Network (NJPN) to develop and implement Tobacco Free for a Healthy NJ’s Youth Tobacco Action Team Program, a prevention and cessation program for youth 13 - 18 years old.
Wellspring will work with community partners to assist in the implementation of County Youth Tobacco Team and execute a comprehensive program designed to engage youth to develop an educational awareness campaign focused on the risks associated with ENDS, other non- cigarette tobacco products and tobacco products amongst youth using a youth engagement model and identify, engage in community level policy change that reduces youth access to tobacco and promote youth cessation programs to reduce youth tobacco use.
The Youth Action Teams will have a focus on evidence based interventions that may include:
- The Regional Youth Tobacco Advisory Team will create campaign components that the local Youth Tobacco Action Teams can implement or utilize in the following areas:
- Counter-Marketing and Media Advocacy- Media is often what encourages youth to smoke; it is also effective at discouraging tobacco use.
- Social Norm Change- the focus should be on the environment rather than the individual.
- Conduct Social Media Education Campaigns -this should be combined with other community interventions.
- The County Youth Tobacco Action Teams will be encouraged to partner with the Regional Tobacco Collaboratives on local policy and Point of Sale strategies being implemented in their community.
- Community and School Approach- involve everyone with influence on youth – family, peer groups, schools, faith-based organizations, local businesses, and recreational programs.
- Involvement in Local Policy Work- this shows youth a concrete result of their efforts, can inspire additional advocacy, and helps to create an environment where being tobacco/ENDS-free is the norm.
- Increase the unit price of tobacco products, other tobacco products and ENDS by working with point of sale strategies.
- Mobilize the Community to Restrict Minors’ Access to Tobacco Products:
- The Regional Tobacco Collaboratives, the Regional Youth Tobacco Advisory Team and the County Youth Tobacco Action Team will all encourage school and community policy changes to establish a non-punitive response to students/youth smoking and vaping. Educational and cessation models will be promoted to be used as an alternative to punishment, suspension or other punitive response.
- Implement School-Based Interventions- Created campaign materials will be distributed to schools and encouraged to support the implementation of non-punitive policies and other tobacco prevention educational efforts.
- Promote Cessation Services for Youth: NJPN has identified ASPIRE as an educational and cessation program for teens. One of the initiatives that will be on the menu is to create a school policy for teens caught smoking or vaping. The policy would require youth to participate in and complete the ASPIRE Program. ASPIRE is an evidence based education and cessation model that is an online interactive program that will engage teens, educate them on the dangers of smoking and vaping and assist in cessation supports for those in need.
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