Helping Youth Say No

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

"Helping Youth Say No" was a pamphlet prepared by a Tobacco Institute-organized group called the "Family C.O.U.R.S.E. Consortium." The acronym stood for "Communication Through Understanding, Respect and Self-Esteem." Subtitled "A Parent’s Guide to Helping Teenagers Cope With Peer Pressure," the "Helping Youth Say No" curricullum reflected the tobacco industry's viewpoint, rather than what effectively works with youth. The main points cited by Helping Youth Say No did not mention smoking-related disease or death, the addictive properties of cigarettes nor do they mention the problems posed by tobacco advertising and marketing.

The major themes of "Tobacco: Helping Youth Say No" are:

  • The major factor in smoking initiation is peer pressure.
  • Parents should crack down on teen smoking, even if they themselves smoke.
  • Education should be targeted at teens, rather than younger kids.
  • Adults can choose to smoke, but should discourage their kids from smoking until

"they are mature enough."

  • There are many adult activities children should not engage in. Smoking is one of

those activities. Children and adolescents are not yet mature enought to decide to smoke.

<tdo>"Helping Youth Say No"</tdo>