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Program Goals of TRU

TRU Program Member

We mobilize youth in Orange County to prevent youth from initiating tobacco use, provide cessation support for youth smokers, and eliminate youth secondhand exposure to secondhand. Preventing tobacco use among youth is critical to ending the tobacco epidemic in the United States.

How do we accomplish these goals? 


Prevent Initiation of Tobacco Use Among Youth
High school students from the Orange County School District and Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School District are recruited and trained to help implement a school-based peer education program. Students involved in TRU clubs do the following:

  • Become leaders
  • Educate tobacco merchants on the laws around the sale of tobacco products to minors
  • Educate youth on the health risks associated with tobacco use
  • Lead community outreach
  • Participate in media advocacy

Eliminate Youth Exposure to Secondhand Smoke & E-Cigarette Aerosol
Peer educators in Orange County identify places (homes, restaurants, public spaces) where they are exposed to secondhand smoke or aerosol and develop ways to reduce exposure. Activities have included conducting patron surveys in local establishments, appealing to the Board of Health and other policymakers to pass rules and ordinances, and air quality monitoring.

Promote Quitting of Tobacco Use Among Youth
For those teens who are smokers, we implement a teen tobacco cessation program created by MD Anderson Cancer Center called ASPIRE. ASPIRE is a free, bilingual, web-based tool that educates middle and high school age students about adopting a tobacco-free lifestyle. It explains the dangers of tobacco use, so they never start smoking, or if they already do, provides them with information and ways to quit.

Contact TRU's Project Manager

Coby Austin, MPH
Orange Co. Health Department
Office: 919-245-2424
E-mail: caustin@orangecountync.gov