Wednesday, 20 November 2002 - 3:30 PM
Hilton San Francisco Franciscan Room D (100)

PREV-230. Beyond Their Backyards: Youth Advocates Influencing Policy at the State and Federal Level

Holly J. Aprea, BA, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, haprea@tobaccofreekids.org, Katherine Klem, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, haprea@tobaccofreekids.org, Cynthia Loesch, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, haprea@tobaccofreekids.org, Jacob Baime, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, haprea@tobaccofreekids.org, Jaime Firorucci-Hughes, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, haprea@tobaccofreekids.org, Sarah Yamin, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, haprea@tobaccofreekids.org, Amanda Jacobson, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, haprea@tobaccofreekids.org, Terra L. Gearhart, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, haprea@tobaccofreekids.org.

Learning Objectives: Demonstrate a basic understanding of various youth advocacy strategies for use at the state and federal levels. Draw from specific examples and expand their youth advocacy agendas to include issues such as FDA regulation, excise tax initiatives, securing settlement money for prevention programs and more. Apply lessons and techniques learned to their local tobacco control networks by effectively communicating this information to other youth, advisors and organizers.

Abstract: Do you want to learn the real meaning of youth empowerment? Meet the 2002-2003 Youth Advocates of the Year.

Each year the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids holds a nationwide competition to honor outstanding young tobacco prevention advocates and recognizes the winners at a gala in Washington, D.C. Four region winners, a group winner, and a national winner are chosen. They receive scholarships and program funds to help them continue their anti-tobacco work. Throughout the year they remain engaged with the Campaign as local and national spokespersons. These youth advocates have taken the lead in holding the tobacco industry accountable for their efforts to market their products to youth.

These young activists are fighting to protect their peers, their communities and the nation from tobacco addiction and tobacco-caused disease through public education efforts, student-to-student training and outreach to policy-makers.

They translate action into results not only in their own neighborhoods, but at the state and federal level as well. From rallying at their state capitols in support of tobacco excise tax campaigns and full funding for comprehensive tobacco prevention programs to traveling around the country advocating for federal policy change like FDA regulation, these youth are clearly leading the way.

In states with comprehensive programs, in states with almost no programs, and even in tobacco growing states, they are truly taking charge.

The most obvious question is how do they do it? The most important lesson learned is how can you?

They're here to tell you.


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