is to plan a tobacco-free activity. We’ve got the resources you need right here. Here’s a guide on how to plan a tobacco-free activity, along with a list of activity ideas, forms you may need and some resources. Now get to it!
Are you ready to get involved and do something positive to reduce smoking in your community? Good for you! Below you’ll find a few basic tips on how to get started. In addition, we’ll provide some examples of activities that might inspire your own ideas.
So you want to get involved and do something to reduce the harmful impact of tobacco in your community? That’s great! Below are some guidelines as well as examples of activities to help you get started.
Step 1: Find a group of people who are as concerned about tobacco issues as you are.
Check out the clubs at your school, church, community center, etc and find an adult who can serve as a leader or advisor and assist with keeping the group organized and focused. Establish a time for the group to meet on a regular basis to discuss ways to address the tobacco that concern you.
Step 2: Determine what is going on in your community.
Check with your local community to see if there are any activities currently planned or have been recently done in the past. Ask around or use the web. Look around and do some research. Are stores selling tobacco to minors? Is your neighborhood littered with tobacco trash? Is there any particular tobacco product or brand that you see advertised/used most often? What is the biggest tobacco-related issue in your community?
Consider creating a survey or ask friends and family for testimonials about tobacco-related problems in the community. Use the Web to research local statistics about particular problems. There are very few activities that effectively target more than one problem at a time, so pick one to start. Once you select a problem, make sure you know everything there is to know about it (statistics, consequences, etc).
Step 3: Think about activities that you can implement to help reduce the problem.
Once you have selected a tobacco-related problem, have your group brainstorm activity ideas that will address the problem and can be implemented in your community. Remember that no idea is a bad idea when you’re brainstorming. There are three main things that you will need to make decisions about: message, audience and action.
First, identify your message. What are you trying to communicate to the community? What are you trying to accomplish? What is the point of the activity you are planning?
Next, identify the audience you are trying to reach with your message—peers, younger youth, parents, or legislators?
Finally, brainstorm activities to communicate your message to your target audience. Search the web for ideas, the Kick Butts Day website is a great resource. Just make sure you select an activity that matches the needs of your community. You can also search what youth from other states are doing by going to their Web pages.
Step 4: Look for partners.
Once you have settled on an activity, find out if there are any local groups that would be willing to help. If you need money, you may find it useful to look for partners. Contact local coalitions in your area that support non-smoking or cessation (quitting) centers.
Step 5: Planning phase.
Determine your target audience. Is it the whole community? Schools? Restaurants? Local stores?
Determine roles within your group. Someone should be in charge of developing communication materials, others should promote media (local papers, social networking, etc), and others should check to see if permits are needed for the types of activity you are planning.
Figure out the cost of implementing your activity, including printing materials to hand out, telephone calls, giveaways or materials needed for specific activities (e.g. if you are going to clean up the city you will need gloves and garbage bags). Come up with a budget and make sure you can cover it.
Be realistic and set a date that allows you enough time to plan your activity. You may want to select a significant day like: Kick Butts Day, World No-Tobacco Day, or the Great American Smokeout.
Plan to launch your communications/media campaign two-weeks before the event. Use posters, flyers, word of mouth, and social media sites like Twitter or Facebook. Be proactive, tell your friends and promote your event at popular locations like school, community centers, parks, concerts, sporting events, the mall or the movie theater. Hand out information to let people know how they can get involved—place, time and event—all the details! The key to recruitment is to communicate the details of your event to as many people as possible. Make sure to portray everything as FUN, youth-led and exciting to be a part of! If there are giveaways available for your event, make that clear —everybody likes free stuff and food!
Step 6: Implementation phase.
Implement your activity as planned. Make sure that you have good background information to support your activity. (e.g. if you are going to ask restaurants to be smoke free, you should have data on the percentage of restaurants that are smoke free, and you should also provide a good background on why restaurants should be smoke free!)
Document your activity. Take lots of pictures! You can then post them online and share your experience with others.
Involve the Media. It is very important to get the media (local papers, local news, etc) involved. They are always looking to cover these kinds of youth participation activities, and tobacco is a controversial issue that attracts viewers. If you can get media coverage, people that were not able to participate will hear about what you’re doing on the radio or on TV. If your activity is small (e. g. a group of students evaluating the number of cigarettes smoked in certain movies) you can always give the media your results.
Evaluate. After implementing an activity it is always good to evaluate it. How many people participated? Did they like it? Did they learn something? Document your results! Next time you will be better prepared.