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STRATEGY 2 – Enhance Skills 

Enhancing skills involves building social and decision making skills of youth enabling them to make healthy decisions not to use tobacco products; supporting parents to provide clear guidelines regarding youth tobacco use; training for individuals and organizations implementing prevention strategies; and training for tobacco retailers to prevent tobacco sales to minors.  Skill building activities can include workshops, school curricula, seminars or on-site training and other activities designed for specific target audiences. 

These interventions enhance the skills of those who can prevent, identify and treat tobacco use – including healthcare providers and pharmacists, parents and adult care givers, educators, law enforcement, businesses and teens.

  • Collaborate with coalition healthcare partners to provide training to educators, guidance counselors, crisis telephone workers, faith and community-based organizational leaders and employers and others who interact with youth.  The training can include:
    • The identification of tobacco use, promotion, discounting and abuse
    •  Local data on underage usage rates
    • Skill building on how to educate teens about the problem including and the deceptive marketing practices of Big Tobacco
    • Dealing with tobacco use in the workplace and what to do in case of an emergency from asthma attack caused by second-hand smoke exposure, for example.
    • Strategies on how to support employees while they begin to make quit attempts in a tobacco cessation program.
    •  Examples of Tobacco specific curricula include:  Teens Against Tobacco Use
  • Offer this training in a variety of venues—in person and/or webinars—as formal training outside of office hours, during coffee breaks or as brown bag lunch presentations. Make the materials and notes from the presentation available, complete and easy to understand.
  • Offer continuing education credits for professionals who participate in tobacco use prevention training activities.
  • Create a tobacco use prevention module that could be placed into elementary, middle and high school health curricula. Focus on proper use and misuse, enhancing refusal skills and what to do if a friend has a tobacco use and nicotine addiction problem. The training could include simulations, games and other class activities.
  • Create and offer a five-minute prevention/intervention pitch to be inserted into regular hospital doctor and law enforcement briefings, other in-service training activities and local board of pharmacists and medical association meetings.
  • Encourage the implementation of tobacco retailers’ training and support the development of tobacco retailers’ mentoring programs. The training should acknowledge the potential illegal sales to minors of cigarettes, little cigars and other smokeless tobacco products. Offer strategies on how to prevent it.
  • Create a “Tobacco Prevention Speakers’ Bureau” and resource library that professionals can tap when preparing presentations.
  • Create and disseminate new tobacco product briefs that describe changes in products and the implications of nicotine overdose for teens and adults who are dual or multi tobacco users. The documents would be designed to inform parents, educators, law enforcement officers and healthcare providers.
  • Provide training to school SRO’s, faculty, administration and support staff on identification and referral resources for smoking cessation programs
  • Provide training to individuals who work with youth:  recreation center staff, lifeguards, coaches.
  • Provide training to Little League, and high school baseball coaches on the harms of smokeless tobacco.
  • Train coalition members to conduct “Reward and Reminder” program involving 18+ year old youth, law enforcement and other community members.