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The Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawaiʻi (CTFH) Youth Council is a youth-led organization for students from 8th grade through college. Our members come from public and private schools representing six islands. The Youth Council has been recognized both locally and nationally for their advocacy work to create the first nicotine-free generation in Hawaiʻi.

Youth tobacco use is an epidemic that plagues America’s youth today, which is why we urgently need to stand up against big tobacco. YOU can help us curb teen smoking rates in Hawaiʻi today by joining our Coalition for Tobacco-Free Hawaiʻi Youth Council!

One of the most effective ways we work is through peer-to-peer outreach. More leaders mean more communities and more youth outreach. This is why it is so important for new leaders to join our cause and make a positive difference through their involvement. Most young people do not understand the extent in which they can generate real change. The Coalition for Tobacco-Free Hawaiʻi works to empower youth and guide them through their career in advocacy and activism.

Awards

Joshua Ching, 2022 Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids "Youth Advocate of the Year" recipient

The Youth Council’s work has been recognized both locally and nationally with awards:

  • National Award:  Awarded the 2021 National Group Youth Advocates of the Year and 2018 Youth Advocate of the Year Award from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.
  • Local Award: Awarded the 2021 Health Advocates Award for Hawaiʻi Children and Youth Day

The CTFH Youth Council is open to students in Hawaiʻi from 8th grade to university levels and any activism experience. Our coalition will help you practice and hone in your leadership and activist skills. We work heavily with communities through grassroots approaches and work towards for policy changes on the state level. The council is a very tight-knit group, and we are always excited to welcome new leaders. You will be pleasantly surprised by the friendships and opportunities that will open up to you when you join.

The Youth Council will not only nurture new friendships, but also enrich youth with knowledge of current issues, experience leadership training, encourage students to collaborate on projects of interest, and practice activism. If you think you can benefit from joining us and can bring valuable work to this youth council, we strongly encourage you to apply today! To be eligible you must be a student in middle, high school, or college. Applications are accepted year-round.

What students say:

“My favorite part of the day was figuring out which policy we want to focus on and learning about how this policy has been successful in other places in the U.S.”

“This is student voice driven, adult facilitated, youth are making a difference in Hawaiʻi and it is making news on the mainland.”

“I liked making friends that want to better society.”

Youth Council Retreat
Youth Providing Testimony
Congress In Session
Youth With Signs To Protect Teens From Nicotine
Youth Council Retreat Fun
Group Photo Tobacco Free Youth Council
Escape The Vape Youth Sign Event
Youth Council Retreat
Capital Steps With Youth Assembled
Youth Council At Event
Dylan And Alexis Represent!
Tobacco Free Youth March
Big Island Advocates
Youth With Signs
Youth Council Huddle

To be eligible you must be a student in middle, high school or college. Applications are accepted year-round.

Expectations:

  1. Participate In Our Youth-Led Statewide Events
    Details are on our Youth Council Events page
  2. Complete Taking Down Tobacco Curriculum
    Complete the short online course.
  3. Deliver A Peer-To-Peer Presentation
    Either as an individual or as part of a team (and with our support).
  4. Be Visible
    Help organize or participate in an awareness event at your school or in your community.

Benefits:

  • Be Part Of Something Big
    Be part of a statewide movement that passed the first tobacco 21 law in the country and made all vehicles smoke-free, with minors present, in all counties.
  • Make New Connections And Meet Allies
    Meet and collaborate with students and public health experts from across the state.
  • Represent Your School
    Represent your school and community in meetings with community leaders and elected officials.
  • Enhance Your Resume And College Applications
    Develop new skills that will make you stand out in college and job applications.
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