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The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health
Building capacity for a tobacco-free world
July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA
Objective: The Florida program has found that youth empowerment is the most effective tool for reaching youth with the tobacco prevention message, though it is not always very efficient. The intent of this session is to define the components that make youth empowerment most effective and instruct advisors on how to make it as efficient as possible.
Methods: Many schools / programs teach leadership; very few teach advising. This presentation will provide participants with an understanding of how to empower youth, how to advise empowered youth groups, and how to maintain mature groups to maximize the output and involvement of youth. We will examine how the tobacco industry uses the psychological needs of teenagers to manipulate them and how those same needs can be tapped to inspire empowerment. We will learn to craft prevention messages and advising strategies that trigger the power desires of youth. Advising is a dynamic process which must evolve to meet the maturity level of the group. Youth & adult frustration results when advising does not match group maturity. The level of group maturity (knowledge, experience, skills, etc.) determines the advising style that is required. We will show how proper advising helps to create and maintain high functioning youth advocacy groups.
Results: High functioning, empowered youth advocacy groups are invaluable tools in spreading tobacco prevention messages to peers and influencing youth culture. Evaluation of the Florida program will be used to highlight the importance of the adult advisor in maintaining successful youth advocacy groups.