Preventing tobacco use in youth is critical to reducing overall smoking prevalence in the long term. Among current smokers, 99 percent began using tobacco by age 26, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.“Youth and Tobacco Use.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. September 2017. https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/youth_data/tobacco_use/index.htm For this reason, the CVS Health Foundation has partnered with the Truth Initiative to promote tobacco-free campus policies as part of a five-year, $50 million commitment to delivering the first tobacco-free generation.
Measuring the impact of the Smoke-Free Campus Initiative
Since partnering with the CVS Health Foundation, Truth Initiative has delivered grants to more than 100 schools, including 64 community colleges and 42 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), to advocate for, adopt and implement 100 percent smoke- and tobacco-free campus policies. Altogether, these schools serve more than 989,000 students and employ more than 65,500 faculty and staff.
So far, 63 schools have implemented tobacco-free policies and another 25 are expected to submit or pass similar policies by the end of 2018.
How CVS Health and the Truth Initiative are helping schools
The Truth Initiative hosts awareness events on campuses and employs several community outreach managers responsible for connecting with schools across the country. Schools that join the program receive resources and assistance from the CVS Health Foundation and Truth Initiative to promote and implement smoke-free policies, including:
- Digital and print material to promote availability of tobacco prevention and cessation resources, as well as guidance on best practices for promoting resources.
- Access to a mobile app and text messaging platform that delivers tobacco prevention and cessation content tailored specifically to individual schools’ student bodies.
- A social media kit for Twitter and Tumblr that provides content to schools for reuse on their own channels.
- Training and one-on-one counseling to help schools address potential challenges, develop policies and budgets, and connect campuses with local resources.
Through the partnership with Truth Initiative and a similar partnership with the American Cancer Society, the CVS Health Foundation recently made available $1.2 million in funding to help a total of 126 schools go smoke-free. CVS Health believes that by working together, we can deliver the first smoke and tobacco-free generation.