After successfully piloting its youth tobacco control program in India, Ghana, and Mexico, EDC’s Health and Human Development Programs is now testing the model in Uruguay. The country, emerging as a leader in tobacco control efforts in Latin America, was one of the first in the region to ratify the international Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
The EDC program goes well beyond a simple “no smoking” message. Youth will develop advocacy skills and study advertising practices of the tobacco industry. They will take part in debates on tobacco control issues and track tobacco billboards in their neighborhoods. Both students and teachers will help develop policies that support a smoke-free school environment. “Youth are the center of this initiative, involving themselves in health promotion and prevention and integrating this work into the community,” says Dr. Antonio Pascale, project field coordinator in Uruguay.
Currently, trainers are testing the program in six schools in Montevideo and Canelones. Later this year, educators now observing the program will teach the curriculum with changes incorporated from the pilot-testing. In this way, a network of trainers is being developed. The project is a partnership between EDC and Uruguayan NGO Iniciativa Latinoamericana. Funders include the New York Community Trust, U.S. Embassy/Uruguay, Anna Whitcomb, and the Municipality of Montevideo.
Originally published on April 30, 2006