Oklahoma Spotlight: Leveraging Education and Countermarketing to Reach Students, Staff, and the Entire Community

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The KI BOIS Healthy Living Program serving Haskell & Latimer Counties started early in planning their “Kick Butts” efforts to empower youth to speak out against Big Tobacco.

How Did You Develop This Idea?

Our students are out of school for spring break during Kick Butts Week and it is hard to get them all together. We decided to do a series of informational ads that educate the public in ways that would not require them to be present in school that week 

What Was Accomplished?

After we sent our graphics and information to the ad department at our local newspaper, they helped us develop some eye-catching ads. We ran the information in the paper each week for 3 weeks before Kick Butts Day, March 20th, and then posted an article on what the SWAT (Students Working Against Tobacco) group was doing to help get the word out about Big Tobacco Companies and how they target our youth. 

Each week, we sent the newspaper the information we wanted them to include in the ads: Tobacco Stops with Me talking point, a reminder to everyone that the 20th of March was “Kick Butts Day,” and the CDC’s 1800Quit-Now information. 

We engage local youth throughout the year at Stigler and Whitefield middle schools through a partnership between SWAT and other student groups of volunteers. They meet regularly, and their big activity for the year is KBD.  

They were allowed to set up a display case in the school, and we explained to students how they could sign on to make the Tobacco Stops with Me pledge, “I am not a replacement smoker.” We had healthy snack baggies with info about Juul to students to pass out as kids signed the pledge 

How Much Did It Cost?

We had a banner made, advertisements created, and purchased snacks to hand out.  Our grant was for $500.00. However, our newspaper once again helped us out by giving us the ads for half price. We spent a little over our grant money because we went to different schools and the kids’ response was larger than we had imagined. 

What Would You Do Differently?

The kids signed the tobacco-free pledge sign with dry erase markers. It was originally to be placed in front of the Chamber of Commerce Building, but it rained so much that we couldn’t put the banner outside for days, so we had to hang the banners in the libraryWe will have to rethink the materials next time for it to work as an outside banner. 

How Was Your Work Advanced?

We were able to get our information out to the whole county and the majority of middle schoolers in our area. We added information about Juul, a new e-cigarette/nicotine delivery product seen in schools, and school staff were interested in passing out information to middle school parents. Additionally, this project helped recruit more kids to join SWAT and opened doors for us at the public school here. Read more here in the KI BOIS March 2019 e-newsletter. 


The KI BOIS Healthy Living Program serving Haskell & Latimer Counties is managed by the KI BOIS Community Action Foundation, Inc. a private, non-profit corporation organized to eliminate the causes of poverty and improve the quality of life for persons residing in Haskell, Latimer, LeFlore, Pittsburg and Sequoyah counties in SE Oklahoma. Connect on Facebook to stay up to date on KI BOIS’ latest activities, or contact Kathy Healy at kathy.healy@kibois.org with questions. 

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