Motivate High Schoolers to Live Tobacco-Free with… a Carnival!


According to the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, the younger the smokers are, the more likely they are to become addicted to nicotine, with 32.3% of PA high school students using tobacco or nicotine products. An estimated 244,000 kids in PA will ultimately die prematurely from smoking if the current number of kids smoking does not change, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Students.

Color & Culture catalyst Latino Connection’s goal was to introduce the TRU (Tobacco Resistance Unit) Student Group and share the importance of a tobacco-free lifestyle at I-Lead Charter School in collaboration with I-Lead student groups. We sought to engage students through collaborative activities to encourage students to take the pledge to live a smoke-free lifestyle, to advocate for stronger tobacco control policies and promote youth empowerment.

Our team worked with currently enrolled students to develop an end-of-the-year tobacco-free advocacy carnival for students and their families. The carnival featured tobacco use prevention related games, prizes, performances from students, treats and educational lessons dedicated to teaching students about the dangers of tobacco use.

The carnival was truly a student project, where we came in and worked side by side with students to bring their vision of the carnival to life. Along with Health Promotion Council, we helped students secure additional donations from local businesses and more sponsors to truly encompass an end-of-year celebration geared towards promoting positive and healthy choices for 400+ students. We were able to establish the TRU group at I-LEAD Charter with 200+ active members. The school continued to use the teachings of TRU to promote a smoke-free lifestyle and engage students throughout the year.

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