Learning Objectives: describe how to develop, implement and evaluate a comprehensive, multidisciplinary, intersectoral approach to reducing youth access to tobacco in their own community.
Reducing youth access to tobacco is a key component in preventing youth from starting to use this highly addictive substance.
The Ontario Tobacco Control Act (1994) makes it illegal to sell or supply tobacco products to anyone under the age of 19. Despite this law being in effect for eight years, there is still a lack of awareness and knowledge in the community-at-large.
Not to Kids utilizes a variety of comprehensive health promotion strategies combining traditional enforcement activities with awareness-raising and educational activities designed to reach the community-at-large, school administrators, parents and students to shift attitudes about the acceptability of youth access to tobacco. Not to Kids (NTK) is a collaborative initiative between national, provincial and community health organizations, school boards, youth agencies and retailers.
NTK has been evaluated utilizing a random community telephone survey, retailer compliance checks, focus groups and monitoring hotline calls. There was a significant change in knowledge among those respondents who could recall campaign messaging. There was a significant decrease (46%) in retailer non-compliance rates.
Not to Kids recently has expanded to eleven health units with a total population of 6,500,000 people and 11,000 retailers.
The project has been nominated for a best practice review by the Program Training and Consultation Centre and the University of Waterloo.
The presentation will appeal to a multidisciplinary audience involved in prevention, community mobilization and enforcement.
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