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What are the 7 Strategies for Effective Community Change?

Coalitions and communities can be more successful in achieving community-level change related to preventing teen tobacco use when their strategies are part of a Comprehensive Plan. There is no one silver bullet or single strategy to prevent tobacco use by teens. No single policy change will magically stop the use of tobacco products. No one curriculum or program can eliminate drug use in the community. It will take many strategies implemented together to change specific behaviors. There is strong consensus in the field of prevention that it takes a comprehensive response to reduce substance abuse.

Comprehensive planning means that there are enough interventions, using all available strategies that target individual youth and adults, and also impact the “shared community environment”. This means that when creating a comprehensive intervention plan it is helpful to remember that we are seeking to empower youth to make healthy decisions, as well as create family, school and community environments that promote and support healthy decision making by youth. Comprehensive strategies will seek to impact the availability of the tobacco products, community norms, laws and policies regulating the use of tobacco products and attitudes by youth and adults regarding the risk of using tobacco products.

There are seven typical strategies used by coalitions to change these individual behaviors and community conditions. These are commonly referred to as CADCA’s 7 Strategies for Effective Community Change. These strategies include:

  1. Provide Information
  2. Enhance Skills
  3. Provide Support
  4. Change Access / Barriers
  5. Change Consequences, Incentives/Disincentives
  6. Change Physical Design
  7. Modify & Change Policies

This toolkit fully describe these strategies and provides specific examples of ways in which they are implemented by coalitions and communities to address tobacco use.