Using Public Health Coursework to Encourage Teenagers to Avoid Tobacco in Helena, Montana
The CDC reports that tobacco addiction starts early with first use of a tobacco product occurring during a child’s teen years. This addiction leads to increased risk of lung cancer, stroke, COPD, and cardiovascular diseases. Students in Carroll’s Public Health Theories and Practice course (PH333) chose to partner with the Lewis and Clark County Health Department’s Tobacco Prevention Program to address this problem. Carroll students completed a literature review to gain knowledge to the problem and possible solutions. They then completed twenty interviews, a focus group of area teenagers, and twenty environmental scans of possible locations where teenagers might purchase tobacco products. With this information, students developed marketing campaigns and community events (meetings, presentations, awareness activities) to help educate area residents of this significant problem.