The 2017 Investment in Youth Engagement Initiative was a great success!
Toronto Public Health supported 32 youth groups across Toronto and their work on various projects that addressed youth-identified tobacco control and other health issues.
Here are some highlights!
Youth Eliminates Smoking (YES)
This group’s project helped youth in the Taylor Massey and Oakridge communities say no to commercial tobacco. The group focused on raising awareness around the importance of tobacco prevention, general health, and nutrition. Their activities included smoke-free recreation competitions, an anti-tobacco pledge, social media outreach, and a big community-wide World No Tobacco Day event.
Be Scene Magazine
The Be Scene magazine is a youth-led magazine that focuses on social justice issues, particularly within the communities of Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park. This year the group held a launch party to celebrate the current issue, which focuses on mental health and smoking. The magazine is free and distributed to local libraries, community groups, and schools. Through the magazine, Be Scene hopes to empower youth and raise awareness about important societal issues.
Escape the Vape
The Youth WAVE group’s project, Escape the Vape, addressed tobacco prevention by increasing youth awareness of the risks associated with e-cigarette use and lack of physical activity, thus empowering youth to be engaged in e-cigarette control issues and advocating for e-cigarette regulation and denormalization. Youth WAVE also advocated to protect youth from the potential harms of e-cigarettes by recommending the prohibition of the display of flavoured e-cigarette products, e-cigarette promotions in the form of lifestyle advertisements, and for the prohibition of e-cigarette use or e-cigarette products in youth-rated movies.
The VWAT Family Services youth group, Kick-Butt worked to raise awareness and prevent cigarette use through social media discussions, volunteering, and outings. As part of the group’s Earth Day celebrations, the group went to Earlscourt Park to pick up butt litter. As a result of this trip, the group wrote a letter to their City Counsellor outlining the concerns around cigarette butt/litter and advocating for change to make the park a cleaner, safer space for the community.