Rural Alaska Community Action Program, Inc.

Tobacco Prevention and Cessation

Youth Advocacy and Tobacco Prevention in Schools

The Growing Up Tobacco Free in Alaska program held an event in St. Paul. Photo by Joie Millett

The Growing Up Tobacco Free in Alaska program held an event in St. Paul. Photo by Joie Millett

In an effort to have a tobacco-free Alaska, this initiative includes two parts – the first is a statewide youth advocacy coalition. This group of youth leaders will meet on a regular basis using teleconference and social media to develop their work around tobacco prevention and advocacy at the local level.  Research has shown that engaging young people in tobacco control issues is a strategy in changing social norms and preventing the initiation of tobacco use. The coalition will also have the opportunity to plan and participate in two in-person trainings, including the youth track of the Alaska Tobacco Control Alliance annual summit. The second part is an assessment of the types of tobacco policy in every school across the state. RurAL CAP will then develop a plan to work with schools and others on strengthening tobacco policies as needed.

Growing Up Tobacco Free
The Growing Up Tobacco-Free in Alaska Project works to create a healthier environment for Head Start children in 23 Head Start communities by promoting tobacco cessation through education, awareness of risks and encouragement of becoming healthy, tobacco-free role models.  This year, the project also promotes the development of smoke-free policies in the communities while developing and strengthening coalitions within the communities, the regions and state.  In the three years RurAL CAP has had this project, there has been a significant drop in smoking inside homes.