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P002: Public Health Division (FY17-FY19 Strategic Plan)

P002: Number of high school youth trained in the Evolvement youth engagement program to implement tobacco projects in their school/community

Current Value




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Story Behind the Curve

  • Youth cigarette smoking is down to a historic low in New Mexico (NM) 11.4%, which is statistically similar to the national youth smoking rate of 10.8%.
  • Decreases in smoking are important because it is the leading cause of preventable death and 90% of adult smokers start before age 18.
  • A total of 356 high school youth statewide were trained in Evolvement youth engagement in fiscal year 2017, exceeding the annual target of 350.
  • Success in FY17 can be attributed to strong efforts to recruit schools and community-based organizations into the Evolvement youth engagement program. A total of 15  high schools from across New Mexico participated in the Evolvement Program. Previous relationships with selected schools and staff ensured continued involvement of some of those schools into FY17.
  • The Tobacco Program and Rescue, which oversees Evolvement program activities, will ensure ongoing support and communication with recruited schools, as well as prioritize and expand recruitment efforts into other parts of the state identified as having youth at increased risk for tobacco use.


  • Rescue (The Behavior Change Agency)
  • NM School Districts
  • NM Public Education Department
  • Community-based Organizations
  • NM Allied Council on Tobacco

What Works

The Guide to Community Preventive Services recommends the following interventions to reduce adolescent smoking:

  • Increasing the unit price of tobacco products;
  • Mass media campaigns when combined with other interventions (e.g., youth engagement);
  • Smoking bans and restrictions;
  • Restricting minors' access to tobacco products through community mobilization with additional interventions.


  • The Program will implement a statewide youth engagement strategy (Evolvement), alongside specific tobacco counter-marketing campaigns targeting high school youth.
  • Youth leaders statewide will be trained on tobacco control efforts, develop tobacco control projects within their schools and communities, and assist in the development of culturally-appropriate campaigns that will reach their peers.

Action Plan

  • Train a total of 350 youth in FY17: Exceeded. 356 trained in FY17
    • Q1: Plan and recruit youth into the Evolvement youth engagement program. Met.
    • Q2: Train 50 youth leaders. Exceeded Q2 milestone: 187 youth leaders trained.
    • Q3: Train 63 youth leaders. Exceeded Q3 milestone: 86 leaders trained.
    • Q4: Train 100 youth leaders. 83 leaders trained in Q4. Met and exceeded annual target of 350.

FY17 Annual Progress Summary

  • The New Mexico Department of Health Tobacco Use Prevention and Control Program and Rescue, which oversees Evolvement program activities, were successful in recruitment, technical assistance, training, and follow-up efforts in FY17. 
  • Efforts resulted in a total of 356 youth trained, exceeding the annual target of 350. A total of 15 high schools from across New Mexico participated in the Evolvement Program, with youth completing a variety of local youth tobacco use prevention and engagement projects in their schools and communities.
  • Significant progress was made in planning the 2017 Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey for middle and high schools statewide, with implementation planned for Fall 2017. New adolescent smoking data will be available in early 2018, which will provide an indication of any progress in further reducing smoking. In addition, new insight will be gained into the use of other tobacco products (spit/chew, cigars, hookah, and e-cigarettes) to determine the overall nicotine addiction burden among New Mexico youth. New data will be used to inform, guide, and evaluate future youth tobacco prevention efforts in the state.

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