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Considerations for Tobacco Programs for Young Adults

Many rural communities not only provide tobacco prevention and cessation programming to youth, but also actively involve young adults in tobacco control efforts. Young adults can offer program planners special insight into tobacco-related issues that affect their peers in the community. Some states, such as Maine, support state or regional networks of youth activists in their mission to decrease tobacco use among their peer groups. The Truth Initiative offers a youth activism toolkit that provides guidance and resources to youth who are interested in getting involved in tobacco cessation and prevention in their schools and communities.

Parents and guardians are critical partners for schools that are seeking to provide tobacco cessation and prevention programming to students. School-based programs may need to seek permission from parents and guardians to provide anti-tobacco interventions to students. Schools also need to ask parents and guardians for consent to provide students with tobacco cessation counseling through school-based health centers. Some program planners actively involve parents in tobacco prevention and cessation efforts through advisory councils (for example, North Carolina's School Health Advisory Councils) and community coalitions.

In addition, programs that focus on youth may choose to partner with local stakeholders in order to promote tobacco-free environments in all settings. Potential partners include:

  • Schools, which can pass tobacco-free policies on school grounds
  • Tobacco retailers, who can make a commitment to restricting minors from accessing tobacco
  • Healthcare providers, who can provide tobacco screening and cessation services to school-aged youths