Youth Tobacco Prevention
In an effort to build a tobacco-free Alaska, RurAL CAP supports Youth Encouraging Alaskans’ Health (YEAH) Teen Ambassadors, a statewide youth advocacy coalition. YEAH Teen Ambassadors, between ages 12 and 18, volunteer to educate communities on the impact of tobacco and advocate for tobacco free areas over the course of one school year.
Research shows that engaging youth in tobacco education changes social norms and prevents tobacco use. YEAH Teen Ambassadors meet regularly using webinars, teleconferences, emails, and social media to develop educational projects focused on tobacco prevention and advocacy at local and statewide levels. Teen Ambassadors plan and participate in two in-depth training conferences per school year. Then, they organize and present their content at the annual statewide YEAH Summit. After their service, volunteers take leadership and knowledge back home, encouraging peers and others to tackle tobacco in their communities.
The program also supports other rural Alaskan communities engaged in youth tobacco prevention activities. We provide statewide Training and Technical Assistance to organizations interested in learning more about youth prevention and to program grantees of the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services Tobacco Prevention and Control program.