Rainbow Alley has been a place where great ideas have blossomed into great programs. These proven programs are perfect for you to use to help others.
Ideas and opportunities to engage young people about going smoke-free. These proven Take Action programs are perfect for those of you looking to create a group opportunity to help young people get off and stay off tobacco. For more information on any of these Take Action ideas, contact Moises Munoz, Youth Healthy Living Specialist at the GLBT Community Center of Colorado.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 303-831-0442
“Butt Walk” Activity
The theme of tobacco and the environment is a perfect combination to get started on thinking about the ways in which tobacco is harmful in the environment. Some of the reasons include: secondhand smoke exposure to children and animals, cigarette butts not being biodegradable and polluting water sources, animals getting sick from eating the butts, deforestation from tobacco farming and production, and fires caused by discarded cigarettes.
Chat with some youth leaders to help them motivate their peers to participate -you might need to offer some creative incentives. For example, one professional had received requests from youth to re-paint the dance floor area at our community center. Although the link to the environment wasn’t very clear, he figured it could be just crazy enough to work. He allowed the youth one week to draw up a dance floor decorating plan; and by the end of the week he had eight plans. He then collected eight large containers for collecting cigarette butts. During “Butt Walk Week” the youth went out in the neighborhood with gloves and bags to collect butts to use as votes for which dance floor plan they liked the most.
Host A Drag Free Drag Show
This can be a one-time event or a reoccurring activity. At various drop-in centers, drag shows are popular ways for young people to share their dancing and singing talents. They have been popular in the past, so the “drag free” drag show is a great way for youth to abstain from tobacco for a night. If they sign a smoke-free pledge, they can enter a drawing for prizes at the end of the night. A drag free drag show is also a good opportunity to have resources and ways to help youth quit smoking (for the night or longer). You can provide quit smoking tips, gum, toothpicks, water, and peer support. During intermission, a tobacco-themed game or message is presented by staff or youth to raise awareness and offer an educational message.
Make A Zine
A “Zine” is a magazine made by individuals and small groups at the local level to share thoughts, ideas, art, or stories on a particular topic. You could create a Zine that addresses health or tobacco.
Organize A Rally
There are many national tobacco awareness events throughout the year that are custom-made for youth groups. You can pass out information to the public, visit the capitol building and make signs to raise awareness about tobacco use in your community. May 31st is the World No Tobacco Day, and November 15th is the Great American Smokeout. Both are great opportunities to create an event.
Start A Youth Outreach Team
Peer-to-peer education is essential for a successful tobacco program. If you work with youth, get leaders trained to talk to their peers about tobacco use and other tobacco topics. Once youth are trained they can attend larger community events, do street outreach and help organize other events for your community. Some good ways to engage youth can be initiating incentive programs and recognizing their efforts and ideas. Organize a training, invite youth in your community to join, and have food and fun while you recruit youth!