GYAT Network

February 26, 2009

Tell YOUR youth advocacy story!

We know that the most effective long term strategy for reducing youth smoking rates at the population level is not youth education but the implementation of comprehensive tobacco control policies.

Today’s youth, the largest generation in history, are uniquely positioned to advocate for such policies. As the primary target of the global tobacco industry and as symbols of “the future,” the voices of youth carry special moral clarity.

Youth possess numerous attributes of value to the tobacco control movement:
  • the ability to discreetly monitor tobacco advertising, promotions, and sponsorships targeting young people;
  • creative and novel ideas for advocacy tactics and strategies;
  • the ability to mobilize large numbers of peers for activities;
  • flexibility of time;
  • familiarity with new social networking technologies; and
  • energy, enthusiasm, passion and unbridled idealism.
We know this, but it's time to share that story with the entire tobacco control community at the 14th World Conference on Tobacco or Health in Mumbai, India.

GYAT members from around the world will be sharing their stories, and will be sharing the palm cards above. Here's what you can do to help:

  1. Please find Holly at the WCTOH and GYM 2009 to pick up some blank cards.
  2. As you attend sessions at the conferences, and hear youth and adults talking about the contributions youth advocates are making to support policy change, ask them to share their story on the back of the card.
  3. Collect the card when they are done, and return it to Holly.
  4. If you are not attending the WCTOH or GYM 2009, and you want to share your story about the valuable contributions of youth to support policy change, please respond to this blog or email us at



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