Updates from the Sidekicks Program
Greetings Sidekicks Partners and Advisors,

We are pleased to provide you with updates on the Sidekicks initiative. Please read on for additional information and connect with us at TobaccoPreventionServices@MaineHealth.org with any questions.

Thank you for your continued commitment to this initiative!
Save the Date: March 12, 2019 in Waterville
MaineHealth Center for Tobacco Independence Tobacco Prevention Services team will be hosting a training for Sidekicks Master Trainers on Tuesday March 12th from 10:00-2:00 @ Governor's in Waterville. Lunch will be provided.

Please RSVP by March 1, 2019.

This training is open to all adults in Maine looking to become a Sidekicks master trainer (i.e. instructed to deliver training to youth as well as prepare/train other adults to deliver SK) to support youth in having conversations with their peers about their tobacco/vape product use. 

Since October, nearly 300 youth across Maine have been trained as Sidekicks and we continue to hear positive feedback so if you'd like to get involved,
join us in March!

Contact Amanda at MaineHealth CTI if you'd like additional information or have questions about the Sidekicks program and/or this training.
New Sidekicks Videos!
The Sidekicks curriculum utilizes interactive training components as well as videos which demonstrate the types of skills youth need to have supportive conversations about tobacco use with their peers. The skills youth are learning via Sidekicks are how to use open-ended questions, active listening, asking permission and many others. 

In October, youth from Snow Pond Arts Academy (now Maine Arts Academy ) in Sidney worked with the Tobacco Prevention Program, Healthy Communities of the Capital Area (HCCA) and Rinck Advertising to create three new videos which will be included in the Sidekicks curriculum. Over the summer, with the support of HCCA, the students involved developed their own scripts and also acted in each of the three videos. 

All videos will be launched in 2019 but we wanted to give you a sneak peek at what took place ‘behind the scenes’ at Snow Pond Arts Academy.
Snow Pond SK filming day
Snow Pond SK filming day
Aroostook County Sidekicks Success!
In December at Easton School, 7th, 8th and 9th grade students became certified through 12 separate trainings over a two-week period. 53 middle school students successfully completed the Sidekicks program and have received training on why to quit tobacco, how to start a conversation, how to use active listening skills, resources for quitting and much more. Students reported feeling confident using these skills and more prepared if they should need to have a conversation with a tobacco user or any other hard topic.

“The most helpful thing I learned was how to start a conversation with someone that smokes, I feel I’m ready to be a Sidekick, I loved the training.”
-7th grade student, Easton Middle School

Click HERE to read more about ACAP's
Sidekicks Success Story!
Youth Feedback
From October 1 – December 31, 2018 we have received at total of 269 youth Sidekicks training evaluations from across the State! This is the largest number of surveys we’ve received to-date and we are so excited to see more continue to roll in! We wanted to share some of the feedback we've received and will add that this feedback continues to inform the work CTI and DTPPs do on behalf of the Sidekicks program.
News & Resources
Home is the #1 environment where kids are exposed to secondhand smoke
  • Take the Smoke-Free Homes Challenge/Pledge!
  • We challenge Maine to keep their homes smoke-free.
  • It doesn’t mean you need to quit smoking; some things are better outside.
  • Is your home a healthy home?
  • Protect Maine’s youth and take the pledge to have a smoke-free home. Complete the pledge and be eligible to sign up and receive your free smoke-free home kit.
  • Children (and pets) cannot protect themselves; adults must protect them from secondhand smoke.
  • Kids exposed to smoke are more likely to have asthma, get sick more often, and be prone to tooth decay.
  • There is no safe level of secondhand smoke exposure.
  • Secondhand smoke contains over 7,000 chemicals,69 chemicals are known to cause cancer. 

Check out Breathe Easy on Instagram and Facebook for additional facts and resources!
Thinking About Quitting? – Take the first step. For more information, visit TheQuitLink.com or call the Maine Tobacco HelpLine at 1-800-207-1230.

The Maine Youth Action Network’s vision is for communities throughout Maine to foster the healthy development of youth and create a thriving network of engaged leaders. We do this work through a series of local and statewide initiatives, including hosting and providing training to adults. Our 2018-2019 professional development training series is designed specifically for adults working with youth to grow the network of adult allies in Maine, strengthen the knowledge and skills of network members, and promote high quality work of local trainers. This series is offered free to any interested adult in Maine. Space is limited to 40 participants. All events are free with lunch provided; trainings go from 9:30am - 3:30pm.

Findings from the GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network) 2017 National School Climate Survey demonstrate that Maine schools were not safe for most lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) secondary school students. In addition, many LGBTQ students in Maine did not have access to important school resources, such as an LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum, and were not protected by supportive and inclusive school policies.
To learn more about GLSEN and to get involved, visit glsen.org or contact glsen@glsen.org . To get involved in the GLSEN Southern Maine chapter, visit glsen.org/chapters/southernme or contact southernme@chapters.glsen.org .

Though options are limited for now, they exist. For starters, parents should recognize that they are confronting an addiction to nicotine, which is hard to break.
( New York Times , December 18, 2018)

( Truth Initiative , January 8, 2019)

New TV ads from JUUL, part of their "adult education campaign," appear to be just a marketing stunt, not a re-focused advertising campaign.
( Wired , January 8, 2019)
Sidekicks is an initiative of the MaineHealth Center for Tobacco Independence implemented with funding from Maine Prevention Services, Maine CDC, DHHS