Each year in Idaho, more than 1,400 youth under the age of 18 become new daily smokers. 1,500 Idaho adults die every year from their own smoking. Public Health – Idaho North Central district is working to reduce these numbers in Idaho through three main tobacco prevention and control goals:
- Prevent initiation of tobacco use among youth
- Eliminate exposure to environmental tobacco smoke
- Promote tobacco cessation among adults and youth.
Public Health - Idaho North Central District (PH-INCD) works with Idaho’s Project Filter to meet these goals by utilizing counter-marketing strategies, school and youth-based programs, policy change, and health care provider education.
Regional Tobacco Taskforce
The Regional Tobacco Taskforce was formed in September 2009 to address tobacco issues in our community. Members of the Taskforce are committed to helping tobacco users quit, reducing nonsmokers’ exposure to secondhand smoke, and preventing youth tobacco use. The Taskforce meets one Friday every other month at noon. New members are welcome! If you would like to learn more about the Regional Tobacco Taskforce, please contact our health education specialist at (208) 799-3100.
Youth Tobacco Prevention
Teens Against Tobacco Use (T.A.T.U)
TATU is a youth empowerment program that teaches teens to fight back against tobacco use. The overall goal of TATU is to help youth remain tobacco free. Teens are taught the dangers of tobacco use, and in turn, develop tobacco prevention messages that are presented to younger children. Teens as teachers and role-models are effective in preventing tobacco use among the students that look up to them. If your school or student organization is interested in participating in TATU, please contact our health education specialist at (208) 799-3100.
Tar Wars is a tobacco-free education program, owned and operated by the Academy for Family Physicians, for fifth-grade students. The program is designed to teach kids about the short-term, image-based consequences of tobacco use, the cost associated with using tobacco products, and the advertising techniques used by the tobacco industry to market their products to youth. A follow-up poster contest is conducted at the school, state, and national level to reinforce the Tar Wars message. For more information, visit the Tar Wars web site or contact our health education specialist at (208) 799-3100.
Reduce Exposure to Secondhand Smoke
Smoke-free Parks and Playgrounds
All seven public health districts in Idaho are working with local municipalities to develop policies that restrict smoking in parks. So far in North Central Idaho, Moscow, Orofino, and Potlatch have all passed resolutions to discourage smoking near city-owned playgrounds. Many other cities in Idaho and across the country have adopted smoke-free park policies. All cities that adopt a resolution or ordinance related to smoking or tobacco use in parks can receive free metal signs. Contact our health education specialist at (208) 799-3100 for more information.
Smoke-Free and Tobacco-Free Policies
Public Health – Idaho North Central District will be actively helping communities in North Central Idaho with tobacco/smoke-free policies in any of the following venues: businesses, bars, multi-unit housing complexes, single dwelling units, parks, ski hills, college/university campuses, and community events. If you are interested in implementing a tobacco/smoke-free policy in any of the mentioned locations, please contact our health education specialist at (208)799-3100.
Promote Tobacco Cessation
Healthcare Provider Education
Healthcare providers have a unique opportunity to encourage their patients to quit using tobacco. Providers are encouraged to adopt a tobacco reminder system utilizing either the 5A’s or 2A’s and an R. The 5A’s include Ask, Advise, Assess, Assist, and Arrange. The 2A’s involve Asking, Advising and Referring. Providers that agree to implement a tobacco reminder system are given supplies, including stickers, stamps, and patient education materials. To learn more about the healthcare provider education, contact our health education specialist at (208) 799-3100.