Teens Against Tobacco Use (T.A.T.U.)



Teens Against Tobacco Use (T.A.T.U.℠) is a tobacco education program designed to help teens develop strong leadership skills while influencing younger children to live tobacco-free lifestyles.


High school-aged youth are trained to:

  • teach tobacco use prevention lessons to elementary/middle-school aged youth;
  • discourage tobacco use among their peers; and
  • advocate for changes in tobacco-related attitudes and policies in their communities.


The American Lung Association Teens Against Tobacco Use, or T.A.T.U.℠, was first released in 1996 as the high school module for the Smoke-free Class of 2000 (SFC 2000), a 12-year program sponsored jointly by the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association and the American Lung Association.  The SFC 2000’s mission was to develop educational programs and strategies to show that tobacco use is socially and environmentally unacceptable.  Although the Smoke-free Class of 2000 has graduated, the T.A.T.U.℠ program continues to empower teens to stay smoke-free, serve as role models for younger children, and become agents for change in the community.

Why is T.A.T.U.℠ Important?

Every day more than 3,500 people under the age of 18 try their first cigarette, and another 1,000 youth become new, regular daily smokers. Tobacco companies target youth as the replacements for the more than 440,000 people killed by tobacco every year. T.A.T.U.℠ confronts this problem head-on by supporting teens as they:

  • commit to an important cause
  • foster creativity by developing lessons, designing posters, or even writing skits 
  • acquire planning, speaking, teaching and public relations skills, and 
  • interact with journalists, policy makers, legislators and community advocacy organizations.

T.A.T.U.℠ gives young people the knowledge, power, motivation, skills and influence to facilitate healthy change.

Program Goals:

To facilitate tobacco prevention in both the teenage and elementary-age population, the primary resource tool is the American Lung Association’s “Teens Against Tobacco Use” (T.A.T.U.℠) curriculum. This curriculum is designed to help prevent young people from initiating tobacco use and the program’s final result meets the goal of educating youth to become responsible citizens. T.A.T.U.℠ is founded on five principles that have been proven effective in helping prevent tobacco initiation among young people.  Through T.A.T.U.℠, teens will:

  • Develop skills to teach younger children the dangers of tobacco use and to become advocates for a tobacco-free community;
  • Understand and identify the positive aspects of being tobacco-free and realize that the majority of teens and adults do NOT smoke;
  • Understand how tobacco advertising and promotions deceive use;
  • Understand how getting hooked on tobacco destroys youth’s freedom and control over their personal lives; and
  • Develop self confidence.

How Can I Participate?

T.A.T.U.℠ works best when the community is involved.  We need:

Adult Facilitators. 

These are adults who:

  • have been tobacco-free for over a year;
  • are passionate about helping youth live tobacco-free;  
  • enjoy working with teenagers; and
  • have 2 or more hours a week to spend working on T.A.T.U.℠.

More Information and Registration

Teen Presenters.

These are teens age 14–18 who:

  • have been tobacco-free for at least a year; 
  • are passionate about helping to prevent kids from starting to use tobacco products; and 
  • are looking for an opportunity to gain new skills and build up your resume.

More Information and Registration

Schools/ Community-based Organizations.

These are organizations that:

  • work with teens who might be interested in being members of T.A.T.U.℠ or
  • work with elementary and/or middle-school aged children who could benefit from learning from T.A.T.U.℠ or 
  • want to offer youth they serve the opportunity to learn about the benefits of living tobacco-free.

More Information and Registration

What people are saying: 

“This program is a youth empowerment program, and it is an opportunity for students to go out and have a voice, and sometimes it’s the first time they've ever had a voice where people will genuinely listen to them.”
-T.A.T.U.℠ Teen Facilitator

Program funded by the generosity of:

Tobacco Health and Trust Fund
State of Connecticut 
Department of Public Health
Tobacco Use Prevention and Control Program