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Youth culture, young people, group of male friends, multi-ethnic teens outdoors, multiracial boys together in park. Kids smoking electronic cigarette, e-cig smokers. Health problems, social issues

*This is an excerpt from The Urban Difference: Report 2020

Alabama 4-H and Youth Development

Educating young people early about the dangers of smoking (vaping) and illegal drugs can lead to avoidance of harmful substances or cessation later.

Health Rocks!®: Urging Teens to Reject Harmful Substances

The United Health Foundation listed tobacco use among youth a challenge for the state of Alabama. In 2019, an estimated 26.7 percent of Alabama high school students reported using a tobacco product. When it comes to e-cigarette use, otherwise known as vaping, 19.4 percent of Alabama youth currently vape. Unfortunately, many teens who smoke turn out to be adult smokers. 

Health Rocks!® is a 4-H program designed to empower young people with the tools they need to reduce or eliminate tobacco, alcohol, and drug use. In 2020, the Alabama Extension at AAMU’s 4-H team concentrated on educating 3,445 youth about vaping. After ten hours of training, 2,618 (76%) of youth felt confident enough to say “no” to vaping and drug use. In addition, 2,894 (84%) understood the dangers of vaping.


View other excerpts from The Urban Difference: Report 2020 here. 


Author & Editor, Wendi Williams, Communications & Marketing Coordinator, Alabama A&M University. Design/layout, Shannon Schoeneweiss, Technology Media Coordinator, Alabama A&M University.

New November 2021, The Urban Difference: Report 2020, UNP-2184


This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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