184,374 kids have become regular smokers in 2006. 59,000 will die prematurely from their addiction (Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, 2006)
Almost 90% of smokers started smoking before the age of 18. Jefferson County aims to prevent youth smoking by arming youth with the truth about tobacco and providing youth with advocacy skills so they can make changes in their communities.
The Health Department offers tobacco prevention programs for students throughout Jefferson County. If you have a need for youth tobacco prevention, please contact us! These programs are offered at no charge and run about one hour.
For more information or to schedule a presentation, please call (636) 797-3737 extension 111, or contact us through our website.
Youth participation in the stand against tobacco is very important. Youth provide a fresh perspective on the problem of tobacco use, and the intelligence and boldness to challenge the social norms surrounding this issue. This is why the Health Department, in partnership with other community organizations, trains area high schools students on what it takes to be effective advocates against tobacco use.
The goals of these trainings are for students to learn how to advocate for smoke-free environments and begin to develop skills to advocate in a variety of venues. As a result of this training, student groups are beginning to be formed with the purpose of taking a stand against tobacco use in their schools and communities.
Our trained youth advocates utilize local media to address the burden of tobacco by educating residents about tobacco and resources to quit. Students use their advocacy skills and creativity to produce articles, posters, radio spots and billboard ads.
According to Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids 2006, the tobacco industry spends more than $12.4 billion per year and over $34.1 million a day marketing it's deadly products in the U.S. alone and about 460 million dollars a year marketing to Missourians.