REALITY Illinois was a statewide teen advocacy program that focused on tobacco and e-cigarette policy change. The program utilized a curriculum called Engaging Youth for Positive Change (EYPC), which aims to empower teens to get involved in local government and advocate for causes they care about.
CUPHD facilitated REALITY Illinois in area middle and high schools from 2015- 2019. While we no longer facilitate REALITY, we do still facilitate EYPC with local youth in the community.
Engaging Youth for Positive Change (EYPC) is a curriculum that encourages youth to create policy change that they would like to see in their community, in order to create a healthier environment for themselves and the whole community. This program was developed by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Center for Prevention Research & Development. EYPC targets youth ages 13-18 to become involved in civic engagement, and to create and advocate for public health policies. CUPHD facilitates this program as part of our Illinois Tobacco-free Communities Program and works with local youth on addressing tobacco-related policies. If you are interested in EYPC, please email Anna Johnson at email@example.com.
For more information about the Engaging Youth for Positive Change curriculum and our 2018 REALITY group, watch this promotional video:
According to the National Youth Tobacco Survey from 2019 and 2020, e-cigarette products are the most used form of tobacco among youth in the United States. These products contain nicotine, which can be addicting and is especially harmful on the developing adolescent brain. Therefore, it is crucial that schools have a tobacco use code in place where enforcement of the policy includes educational and behavioral components. Research has shown that punitive measures can contribute to negative educational and life outcomes and do not help the student to quit using the product. If you need assistance with your school’s tobacco use code, please email either Kami Lafoon at firstname.lastname@example.org or Anna Johnson at ajohnson@c- uphd.org.
1. urgeon General’s Report on E-cigarette Use Among Youth & Young Adults
2. CDC's Youth Tobacco Use Infographics
3. Public Health Law Center's Commercial Tobacco-Free K-12 School Model Policy