GOPEACE Conference Day 1 – Empowering Youth to Drive Tobacco Control Policy Change

Category: Seminar

Date: 9/30/21

By who: Dr. Annette Davi, SEOW; Audrey Benavente, GBHWC-SEOW; Kara Rubio

Description: In 2015 Guam had one of the highest youth smoking prevalence rates and vaping rate in the country. The Vice-Speaker of the 33rdd Legislature introduced a bill raising the legal age of tobacco consumption from 18 to 21 years old, and expanding tobacco control policy to include electronic cigarettes. However, the bill was met with resistance stemming from disinformation and misperceptions by various lawmakers. To spur change, data was collected from the Guam State Epidemiological Outcomes Workgroup, the Prevention and Training Branch of the Guam Behavioral Health and Wellness Center and partnered with Youth for Youth Live! Guam. YFYLG is a youth-led non-profit organization that equips youth to lead a multi-component information and advocacy campaign to counter the disinformation propagated by tobacco industry affiliated stakeholders. This session delineates the process and key lessons learned in empowering youth to be effective change agents for tobacco control policy.