The dangers of smoking have long been documented, but kids tobacco prevention is still, sadly, a huge need. Two or three generations ago, there was a level of excuse: people didn’t know cigarettes were harmful. But now, we do, and the kids and teenagers who are smoking today are starting in an environment that’s well aware of the health risks. However, peer pressure, parental example, indirect marketing tactics, and a culture ultra-focused on image work together to create an environment in which too many young people are choosing to start smoking anyway.
Tobacco awareness campaigns can help reinforce smoke-free habits and convictions at a younger age. As kids get older each year, they’re more and more exposed to mass media and marketing. At the same time, adolescents are notoriously sensitive to the opinions of their peers, even when those peers are not their friends.
Helping bring a no-smoking message into schools when students are young can help reinforce in kids tobacco prevention messages that they hear elsewhere. Anti-smoking campaigns are one of our top priorities, and we can help deliver thousands of school folders with tobacco prevention and other health-oriented messages into the hands of students nationwide.
We find this to be an effective strategy for a number of reasons.
School folders are an ever-present school supply, and one that students see repeatedly throughout the school day.
Repeated exposure to a positive message through both words and images can help students become familiar with, and then internalize those messages.
When awareness programs deliver school folders into the hands of students, they serve as conversation starters within the classroom and hallways of schools.
Discussing non-smoking initiatives in the classroom can help reverse the peer-pressure stigma, as students are engaged in active group discussions and activities incorporating the folder’s messages.
When it comes to teaching healthy habits to kids, tobacco prevention is very often just one element of a larger community initiative. The most pressing threats to the physical and mental well-being of students are tobacco, obesity, and bullying. Our folders can isolate one issue to bring attention to a very specific need, or can work to paint a larger picture of overall health. By explaining the basic components of a healthy lifestyle, a folder can help kids learn, even from the earliest grades, about the elements needed to live a balanced, healthy lifestyle.