Mobilizing Youth to Nix Tobacco (MYNT)

Apply to join the MYNT Coalition LEARN MORE

  • Stipend/Gift Card
  • School Credit
  • Community Service/Volunteer Hours
  • Authorship on Publications/Letters to the Editor
  • Transportation Reimbursement
  • Grant/Scholarship

Mobilizing Youth to Nix Tobacco (MYNT) is a coalition of young people (ages 14-24) and their adult allies that is working to reduce tobacco-related health issues that deeply impact the African-American Community and communities of color in the Central Valley through advocacy, education, and action. As a grantee of the California Tobacco Control Program and partner of Amplify! African American Statewide Coordinating Center, we are committed to the Endgame 2035, whose goal is to reduce the number of smokers from 20% today to less than 5% by 2035. Endgame Tobacco is a move away from tobacco control and toward eliminating tobacco altogether.

What We’re About

As a MYNT coalition member, there are countless ways we’re living out a tobacco-free California in the Central Valley that includes:

  • Creating fresh and engaging digital content with a social justice lens
  • Expanding and building out a network of youth advocates locally and statewide to influence change
  • Inviting and celebrating the diversity of our community through inclusion and shared decision making
  • Developing your leadership skills through mentorship
  • Co-author policies that shape a thriving community landscape
  • Participate in collaborative annual efforts to celebrate and uplift Black Excellence:
    • Black History Month 
    • Information and Education Days
    • No Menthol Sunday
    • Juneteenth Events
    • National Day of Action
    • Red Ribbon Week
    • Great American Smokeout

What We’re Addressing

Let’s be real, the Tobacco Industry has a long history of harming communities of color, especially young people, so we’re going to talk about it and create a plan to be a part of the solution. Here are some of the things we are bringing to light together:

  • Predatory marketing tactics, like
    • Discounted tobacco prices in historic Black neighborhoods
    • Celebrity, Black leadership, and faith-based endorsements
  • History of tobacco and African-Americans
  • Social justice and tobacco policy

How to Get Involved

If you identify as a young person of color, have a heart for social justice, or are constantly being challenged by your personal faith to make a better world, then we need you. MYNT gives young people a first-hand experience to create healthier and more equitable neighborhoods. Youth and adult allies work in community as a team, designing engaging campaigns through social media and other creative platforms. We organize exciting cultural moments to bring the community and resources together. Our goal is to see our communities thrive, free from the influence of tobacco, and this is how we are going to get there:

  1. Passing legislation in our local communities to ban the sales of flavored tobacco, including menthol, and end the widespread epidemic that dates back to the 1950s-60s.
  2. Mobilizing and developing youth leadership coalitions to lead and engage their communities in this fight for a tobacco-free California in the Central Valley
  3. Collaborating with faith-based communities to adapt tobacco-free places and campuses of worship

MYNT Coalition Members engage in various ways to collaborate and lead change in the community. 

  • Weekly Fresno MYNT Coalition Meetings, Tuesdays at 4:30-5:30M 
  • Weekly Tulare MYNT Coalition Meetings, TBD
  • Weekly Madera MYNT Coalition Meetings, TBD
  • Quarterly Tobacco Prevention Advisory Coalition Meeting, Fall Semester and Spring Semester
  • Quarterly Faith and Wellness Subcommittee, Fall Semester and Spring 

Click here to download the application, and reach out to LJ Mariano, [email protected], for more information. Or, come join us during a coalition meeting to complete your application. And follow us on social media!

  • Instagram: @mynt_cv
  • Twitter: @mynt_cv
  • Facebook: @mobilizingyouthtonixtobacco

Background Research

Research shows that more tobacco retailers exist in areas with larger black, Hispanic and low-income populations. More stores selling tobacco means more exposure to point-of-sale marketing, which Big Tobacco spent more than $8 billion on in 2014. Point-of-sale promotions—not just in-store advertising, but things like discounts and product displays behind check-out counters—have been the industry’s top marketing strategy for nearly 30 years, receiving even more investment after the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement restricted marketing tactics, such as billboard and transit ads and the use of cartoons such as Joe Camel to appeal to children.”1

“Scientific evidence indicates that adult menthol smokers are less likely than non-menthol smokers to successfully quit smoking despite increased quit intentions and quit attempts. Studies show significantly reduced rates of quitting among African-American and Hispanic menthol smokers compared with non-menthol smokers.”2 

Resources

Trying to quit vaping? If you or someone you know is trying to break free from their addiction to vaping, please use the free text service by texting DITCHJUUL to 88709. 

Trying to quit smoking? If you or someone you know is trying to break the habit of smoking, please use this free service by calling 1-800-NOBUTTS.

Notes

*1: Achieving Health Equity in Tobacco Control 

*2: Menthol: facts, stats and regulation