Community Prevention Program

The Community Prevention Program focuses on relieving the burdens related to tobacco use and the COVID-19 pandemic, which has been exacerbated among special populations. To help mitigate the impacts of all tobacco and nicotine products use, tobacco advertising and the pandemic, the program provides training opportunities and resource materials to educate and empower community members to support and create healthier individuals and communities.

Trainings and resources focus on tobacco and e-cigarette prevention, cessation, community engagement, mental health, and retailer compliance to help ensure youth under 21 do not have access to tobacco and nicotine products. These educational resources and materials are available to all communities across Texas but are prioritized for those populations most disproportionately affected by the tobacco industry and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tobacco Enforcement Program (TEP)

In accordance with Texas Government Code ยง403.105 (c), Permanent Funding for Health and Tobacco Education and Enforcement, the Texas School Safety Center at Texas State University (TxSSC) on behalf of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) regularly solicits applications from local law enforcement agencies for the purpose of conducting controlled buy/stings and follow-up controlled buy/stings of tobacco permitted and e-cigarette retail outlets statewide.

Texas Youth Preparedness Council

The Texas Youth Preparedness Council brings together youth leaders from across the state who are interested in emergency preparedness and making their communities more resilient in the face of potential disasters. Emergency preparedness is a continuous process where communities plan, organize, and train in an effort to ensure effective coordination during a response to potential natural, human-caused, or technological disasters. The council provides an opportunity for Texas high school students to enhance their knowledge of emergency preparedness and develop leadership skills that will help them in addressing and supporting the needs of their communities in regards to emergency preparedness.

Say What! Movement

Say What! stands for Students, Adults and Youth Working Hard Against Tobacco! and was created by youth to give credit to everyone working towards reducing tobacco use throughout Texas. With guidance from the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Texas School Safety Center, youth leaders saw a need to connect the various tobacco prevention efforts happening statewide and unify them under their common goal of making Texans healthier regarding their tobacco use. The SayWhat! movement provides an umbrella organization to connect, learn, share, and inspire others to make a positive difference in their schools and communities! Resources, information, and tools are provided to the groups registered on the SayWhat! website.

Say What! Teen Ambassadors

The Texas Teen Ambassadors are a group of high school-aged (and some college-aged) teens that provide guidance, input and direction to state tobacco control leaders, including the Texas Department of State Health Services Tobacco Prevention and Control department, regarding the state's tobacco prevention efforts. Representation is sought statewide, with an emphasis placed on connecting Ambassadors with their local resources to make an impact locally as well as on a statewide level. With funding made available by DSHS, all activities carried out under the oversight of TxSSC are in accordance with the state's tobacco prevention and control strategic plan.

Texas Teen Ambassadors serve as representatives and spokespersons for the state's tobacco prevention efforts at the state and local levels. Many of them have experienced the devastating effects of tobacco first hand, through illnesses and deaths of family members. These teens have a true passion for and in-depth understanding of tobacco-related issues, and employ a belief that they can make a difference in their world.

For information on how to become a Teen Ambassador, contact Kathleen Bates at k_b277@txstate.edu