West Virginia DHHR Youth Tobacco Prevention Program
The West Virginia Youth Tobacco Prevention program is an initiative to "prevent West Virginia's youth from using tobacco products, even trying them, and to assist the youth who are using tobacco products in reducing the amount they use or quitting."
The program's statewide strategy is known as "Raze," which is a teen-led movement that works to provide the facts about tobacco.
Raze faced several challenges, including pervasive tobacco use in West Virginia and deep-rooted cultural ties to tobacco. Additionally, Raze had become a tired, straight-laced, uncool group, and membership numbers had been steady or decreasing for several years.
We conducted research among youth in West Virginia between the ages of 12 and 17 during March and April 2013 to develop an understanding of the role of tobacco in their lives. Ultimately, we developed an integrated campaign spread across paid media and high-impact mobile ads that included traditional and non-traditional elements surrounding our strategy's single most important message: REBELLION IS HEALTHY. This campaign also translated across the program's website and their annual tobacco events.
The campaign has initially been very successful, resulting in a 10% increase in the number of Raze crews throughout West Virginia. It is expected to continue to grow membership and ultimately prevent West Virginia's youth from using tobacco products.