The CDC has chosen the Students Taking A New Direction (STAND) as one of only two national models for youth prevention efforts to be featured in the revised CDC Best Practices User Guide: Youth Engagement–State and Community Interventions. STAND is a youth prevention program with more than 250 middle and high school youth participating in 30 youth coalitions around the state.
STAND coalitions focus on reducing the negative health, economic and environmental impacts of tobacco. Each coalition works in partnership with one or more adult coalition leaders to learn about tobacco issues, conduct community assessments, select a tobacco issue that is most important to the group, and develop and initiate a plan to address the issue.
As a result of STAND’s work over the past two years, communities in 10 of Arizona’s 15 counties have increased restrictions on tobacco use in public parks, which has positively impacted more than 20 local parks. One community has outlawed smoke tobacco and e-cigarettes in cars with minors, and one community has raised the minimum legal age to buy tobacco products to 21 years old.
Youth prevention is critical to reducing tobacco use in Arizona, as most adults who use tobacco started before they turned 18. We’re excited to showcase the successes of our youth prevention efforts. This fall we will launch a new prevention public service campaign for youth that focuses on the dangers of e-cigarettes.