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EMBASSY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
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New Program Aims to Prevent Tobacco Use in Public Schools

Project will introduce a curriculum to discourage smoking amongst students

Posted: June 22, 2005

Presentation of the Youth Initiative For Tobacco Use Prevention in Montevideo. (U.S. Embassy photo by Vince Alongi)
Presentation of the Youth Initiative For Tobacco Use Prevention in Montevideo. (U.S. Embassy photo by Vince Alongi)
Presentation of the Youth Initiative For Tobacco Use Prevention in Montevideo. (U.S. Embassy photo by Vince Alongi)
Youth Initiative For Tobacco Use Prevention presentation in Montevideo, June 21, 2005.
A pilot program, Youth Initiative For Tobacco Use Prevention, aimed at encouraging pro-active intervention by students in the public schools of Montevideo and Canelones will be launched in coordination with public school authorities starting in July. The project was designed and will be implemented under the auspices of the Iniciativa Latinoamericana in conjunction with the American organization Education Development Center (EDC) and is supported by the Embassy of the United States of America in Uruguay, the city of Montevideo's Department of Health and Social Policies, the Alliance Against Tobacco Use and the Pan-American Organization of Health (OPS).

The aim of the program is to offer pre-teen and teenage boys and girls in the public schools of Uruguay the opportunity to become participants in safeguarding their health from the threat of tobacco products. The program hopes to inspire at the community level an active, defensive posture vis-à-vis the right to live in a healthy, tobacco-free environment.

With this project, the EDC intends to creatively implement a plan of action for tobacco prevention that is relevant to the socio-cultural realities of Uruguayan youth in the greater Montevideo area. The project will make available to teachers and administrators a package of resources, including discussion outlines relevant terminology and other teaching tools in order to carry out the project in a coordinated fashion.

The project will, with the help of local teachers, be initially aimed at adolescents between the ages of 11 and 15, covering more than 80% of the primary and secondary public schools. The hope is that area private schools will join in the project at a later date.

Tobacco use is the number one cause of premature death and as well as physical disability, both of which are preventable. Tobacco use is growing, most noticeably among adolescents and teenagers. According to the third National Survey on Drug and Tobacco Consumption in Uruguay (conducted in 2001), tobacco is the second most consumed drug after alcohol. 52.2% of people between 12 and 65 have tried tobacco once in their life.

For further information: Programa Promocion de Salud, INICIATIVA LATINOAMERICANA (Tel: 9023186, 094-453-240) and www.iniciativalatinoamericana.org or www.edc.org

The programs will be implemented in coordination with public school authorities starting in July.



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