The CDC’s Office on Smoking Health published an article in the JAMA Pediatrics titled “Secondhand Exposure to Electronic Cigarette Aerosol Among US Youths.” The report says the extent to which youth are exposed is unknown. Through self-reporting, about 40 percent of teens reported being exposed within the past 30 days. The article calls for education for youth about the potential danger of secondhand aerosol, and it’s the same message our agency has to reduce access to tobacco and nicotine products for youth.

Arizona youth are actively engaged in creating smoke-free parks throughout the state to reduce exposure to secondhand smoke. The Students Taking A New Direction (STAND) coalitions have passed a city ordinance that bans smoking in cars with minors in Kingman, Arizona. The efforts of our youth to reduce the exposure to secondhand smoke and aerosol continue to bring awareness to their communities throughout Arizona and change the environment for everyone.

STAND is a statewide anti-tobacco youth coalition program for Arizona teens offered by our Bureau of Tobacco and Chronic Disease to raise awareness about the dangers of tobacco use among their friends, in their schools, in their communities, and with their local governments. During the last two years, STAND coalitions have helped to protect people from secondhand smoke in the following communities:

  • The Parker Town Council voted to make all public parks in the town of Parker smoke-free.
  • A ban on smoking in two town parks on June 3, 2015 (Anza Trail Park and Santa Cruz Park), the Sahuarita Parks and Recreation Commission voted to add two more local parks, Lake and Anamax, to the smoke-free list on a trial basis.
  • The Graham County Parks and Recreation Board approved non-smoking areas in Graham County parks that include the covered playground, all softball fields, and all Little League fields.
  • Phoenix Parks and Recreation Board voted to make El Oso Park tobacco-free.

Our STAND coalitions are heavily involved in our community around Arizona and have received recognition from the CDC as a best-practice for youth engagement. If you’re interested in becoming a STAND member, reach out to your local county health department and inquire about becoming a STAND member.