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CVS Health Enters Year 3 of Be The First Initiative

March 19, 2018 | Community

It has been two years since CVS Health announced a five-year, $50 million dollar commitment to preventing tobacco use among youth. Significant progress has been made since then toward the goal of delivering the first tobacco-free generation, but there is more work to be done. This year, CVS Health and its Foundation are awarding $10 million to support evidence-based youth smoking prevention and education programs and strategies in the United States.

Past & Ongoing Efforts to Be The First

Since 2016, CVS Health has helped to launch or advance educational programs and awareness campaigns that have reached more than four million youth. These initiatives have been enabled through partnerships with several prominent organizations.

  • Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids – to develop an online training program to educate a new generation of tobacco prevention ambassadors and to promote Kick Butts Day, a national day of awareness to empower youth to speak up about the damage tobacco has done in their communities.
  • American Cancer Society and Truth Initiative – to support a tobacco-free campus initiative that has delivered grants to 146 colleges and universities working to implement tobacco-free policies.
  • CATCH Global Foundation – to establish a curriculum on the dangers of e-cigarettes, which has been delivered to more than 30,000 students in 20 states and will be launched nationwide with the goal of reaching 200,000 students annually.
  • – to launch a campaign that encourages youth to deliver tobacco cessation messaging to family, friends, and community members who smoke or use other tobacco products.

What’s Next for Be The First

Be The First funding delivered this year will be used to support ongoing initiatives with existing partners and to support work on a collaborative project with Stanford University School of Medicine and the Yale Center for Health and Learning & Games.

  • Yale’s smokeSCREEN Game − The smokeSCREEN game from the play2PREVENT Lab at the Yale Center for Health & Learning Games is a highly interactive narrative-based videogame app in which players “travel” through life, facing the range of challenges that young teens face with a dedicated focus on youth decision-making about smoking and tobacco use and includes strategies for both smoking prevention and cessation.
  • Stanford’s Tobacco Prevention Toolkit − The Tobacco Prevention Toolkit from Stanford School of Medicine is a free, online resource for anyone who works with youth. It contains a set of eight modules providing interactive lessons and activities focused on e-cigarettes and vapes, including JUULs, hookah, smokeless tobacco and cigarettes; messages on nicotine addiction, information and resources concerning positive youth development; and information about school tobacco policies and tobacco control efforts. The Toolkit is being used in every state in the United States.

By partnering with organizations uniquely positioned to develop, implement, and expand tobacco prevention and cessation initiatives, CVS Health believes that we can help deliver the first tobacco-free generation.

To learn more about our efforts to reduce smoking rates, visit our Tobacco Prevention & Cessation information center.