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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: Education Development Center's innovative youth tobacco control intervention, developed on behalf of WHO, is now being adapted and pilot-tested with Uruguayan NGO Iniciativa Latinoamericana. Twenty eight percent of students aged 11-13 use tobacco and almost two in three live in homes where others smoke (CDC, 2001). In 2004, Uruguay ratified the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. The project has three components: the curriculum, the incorporation of environmental strategies, and capacity building of teachers and students. We want to provide educators and youth with tools to create health promoting schools and become effective advocates for tobacco control.
Methods: The curriculum includes interactive methodologies and advocacy exercises focused on critical thinking, communication, leadership, and policy development. Second, young people can learn how to advocate for change in their neighborhood, e.g. banning environmental tobacco smoke and eliminating billboards near schools. Third, teachers gain experience in the creative application of a tobacco prevention curriculum and a network of trained adolescents is created who assume a leadership role in health promotion with their peers and families.
Results: Evaluation tools and a project evaluation protocol were developed; observation forms for educators and teachers, a student pre and post test, and student evaluation forms. Preliminary project results show that 90.7% of students believe that tobacco advertising is designed to convince people to smoke; 96.3% believe they can take action to prevent people in their neighborhood from smoking. Activities designed for youth to create environmental change, such as the ones in this intervention, can advance tobacco control.