image of the word art with advocacy through overlayedEmpowering Youth – Advocacy through Art

Summit County Public Health collaborated with the Akron Art Museum, Akron Public Schools, Coventry Local Schools, and Archbishop Hoban High School to implement a tobacco prevention curriculum. The curriculum contained lessons on the history of tobacco and nicotine use, the dangers of nicotine addiction, the commercial tobacco industry’s marketing tactics, and youth and adult cessation resources. Youth were then engaged in a hands-on art project that allowed them to creatively express the impact of tobacco. The exhibit included more than 50 student-created art pieces.  

State of Tobacco use in Summit County

Though smoking is declining, and the dangers of smoking have been common knowledge for a long time, nearly one in five Summit County residents still smoke. Comparing youth and adult smoking rates, the rates tend to increase as age increases, rising from 2% of middle school students to 6% of high school students and finally to 20% of adults who say they are current smokers. Cigarette smoking among high school students has decreased significantly, from 13.5% in 2013 to 5.8% in 2018. The decline in traditional tobacco use is happening alongside a sharp increase in the use of e-cigarettes and other vaping products.