Wednesday, 20 November 2002 - 2:00 PM
Hilton San Francisco Imperial Ballroom B (390)

This presentation is part of PREV-194. Tobacco-Free Sports: Let the Games Begin

Tobacco Prevention and Youth Sports: Working With Local Little Leagues and Volleyball Clubs

Janet Porter, MPH, Health Education Council, sjporter@onemain.com, Kerry Brattrud, BS, kbrattrud@healthedcouncil.org.

Learning Objectives: implement a successful model in their own communities for working with organized youth sports programs to integrate tobacco prevention strategies.

Abstract: The problem of youth initiation is multi-faceted and complex and can be attributed to a number of factors. This promoted the Health Education Council to implement a project to eliminate tobacco use in a youth environment, specifically at Little League baseball games and youth volleyball matches and events. The goal was to explore the feasibility of integrating tobacco prevention activities and policy into popular organized youth sports programs. This involved introducing new, non-traditional partners to the tobacco control movement in an effort to increase the number of tobacco-free environments for youth.

In Sacramento County, California, hundreds of thousands of youth and thousands of coaches, officials and parent volunteers participate in organized Little League Baseball and Club Volleyball programs. Both sports enjoy wide popularity among both boys and girls, yet, no policies exist in Club Volleyball programs to address the popular use of chewing tobacco among female players, and tobacco use among Little League coaches, officials and spectators at games and practices. The Health Education Council has formed a relationship with local Little League District Boards and Club Volleyball organizers to integrate policy and education into ongoing programs.

Evaluation measures have concluded that tobacco education and youth sports are a worthwhile match and that volleyball and Little League governing bodies can be important players in the tobacco control movement. In addition, tobacco prevention strategies have been shown to enjoy widespread support from parents and players alike.


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