North Carolina Youth Take the Lead in Tobacco Use Prevention Campaigns

Statewide youth-led program to prevent tobacco use by young people

From 1999 to 2004, staff at North Carolina's Department of Health and Human Services, Raleigh, N.C., advanced its tobacco use prevention and control mission by establishing three youth-led tobacco use prevention centers across the state.

The centers provided a platform for project staff to foster youth-led tobacco use prevention planning and advocacy and to provide leadership development to participating youth.

Key Results

  • Project youth advocated for and achieved 100 percent tobacco-free schools in two of the three targeted counties of the project — Durham and Buncombe counties. New Hanover County already had tobacco-free schools.
  • Project youth worked to reduce noncompliance with state law prohibiting the sale of tobacco to minors by securing pledges from vendors of tobacco and increasing the number of smoke-free establishments frequented by youth.
  • Project staff conducted four multi-day leadership training events during 2001–2003, as well as local training events.
  • Staff conducted two radio campaigns highlighting tobacco-free schools and a tobacco-control initiative in movie theaters. These complemented a separately funded statewide tobacco-control campaign featuring six radio messages on the subject by Governor Hunt and teenagers from his "Youth Advisory Team."
  • A total of 142 television, radio and print items reported on the project, focusing on youth involvement in tobacco prevention and control.

Funding

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) provided a grant of $1,993,698 in support of this project between October 1999 and July 2004.