URGENT ACTION ALERT – TELL PREMIER McGUINTY “DON’T CUT YOUTH ANTI-SMOKING PROGRAM”!
June 26, 2009
Youth Action Alliance (YAA)
Why would the government cut an innovative program that’s proven to be effective at reducing smoking initiation among young people?
That is what RNAO President Wendy Fucile and RNAO Executive Director Doris Grinspun asked Premier Dalton McGuinty this week in a strongly worded letter. You can read the full letter here.
On August 31, 2009, provincial government funding of the Youth Action Alliance (YAA) is going to end, according to the Minister of Health Promotion. YAA uses a youth engagement model, with about 300 peer leaders working with at-risk youth to build skills and implement educational and advocacy activities. A similar program in Florida, called ‘Truth’, succeeded in demonstrating a significant reduction in smoking among 12 to 17 year-olds, the age group that represents a perpetually attractive market for the tobacco industry. In Ontario, the YAA has been positively evaluated by the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit.
With the use of tobacco products still the number one cause of preventable death and disease in Ontario, RNAO says this is not the time to back away from an anti-smoking program that works and, in particular, works well in protecting young people.
We all recognize the need to spend public money wisely in these difficult economic circumstances, but there is no smarter investment than a dollar in prevention that saves thousands more in the treatment of tobacco-related disease.
RNAO is urging the government not to cut the Youth Action Alliance particularly without having in place something proven to be more effective in reducing smoking initiation and promoting smoking cessation among youth, and that’s acceptable to the community.
Youth across the province are angry and upset at the sudden cancellation of YAA funding and will be making their voices heard over the coming weeks. They urgently need your help.
What You Can Do to Help Save the YAA
1. WRITE TO PREMIER McGUINTY TODAY, urge him not to turn back the clock on the progress the government has made on its smoke-free Ontario strategy. Save the YAA! Simply go to the message below and personalize the letter as you like, and send. Your letter will be automatically delivered to Premier McGuinty with a copy to Minister of Health Promotion Margarett Best.
2. PLEASE SHARE THIS ACTION ALERT WITH YOUR COLLEAGUES, FAMILY AND FRIENDS AND ASK THEM TO WRITE AS WELL!
Every email really does make a difference.