Educational Advocacy Toolkit

Educational Advocacy Toolkit

Making your case to stakeholders can put tobacco-prevention messages on the fast track to policy success. Use this toolkit as you work to educate and inform stakeholders with stories, photos, videos and more.

Our Message

Use the messages below when educating stakeholders. Also check out the education resources tips for use for tips on supplementing the education packet with local examples.

  • Despite progress made, tobacco is still a problem in Wisconsin.
    Though adult smoking has decreased in Wisconsin, tobacco is still the leading cause of death in the state, and tobacco costs the state $4.7 billion annually in health care and lost productivity. The Wisconsin Tobacco Prevention and Control Program uses a comprehensive approach to address the issue that includes community and youth education, targeted partnerships to address tobacco-related disparities, and providing support to quit tobacco.

  • New products with candy flavors and cheaper prices are getting kids hooked on tobacco.
    Nationally, four out of five youth who have ever used a tobacco product started with a flavored product. These products, like flavored little cigars, are taxed at a lower rate than cigarettes, making them more affordable for young people. Of these products, e-cigarettes have proven especially popular, with nearly a third of Wisconsin high school students having tried e-cigarettes. According to a 2018 CDC study, the sales percentage of flavored e-cigarettes among all e-cigarette sales jumped 75 percent in Wisconsin (from 12.1 percent in 2012 to 21.2 percent in 2016) . Using these new products makes youth more likely to smoke conventional cigarettes, and leaves them susceptible to health problems from nicotine, toxic chemicals, and defective devices.

  • Tobacco is not an equal opportunity killer.
    Tobacco-related disparities are prevalent among individuals who experience oppression, which include but are not limited to: low-income populations, LGBTQ communities, communities of color, and individuals struggling with behavioral health issues. The Tobacco Prevention and Control Program must continue to provide significant and equitable outreach, support, and resources to these populations as well as agencies who work closely with them.

Visit the Key Messages Toolkit and the Local Data Resources page for all Wisconsin-specific factsheets and data.

Educational Advocacy Strategies

Review the Educational Advocacy vs. Lobbying page before getting started.

Personal Meetings

Meeting with local or state policymakers provides an invaluable opportunity for you to educate them about your coalition's outstanding work, and to establish your group as a "go to" resource for information on tobacco, electronic cigarettes, and other pressing public health issues. Here are resources to help you prepare:

Community Events

Community events, like a legislative breakfast or community forum, allow you to educate the community, local decision makers, and legislators about our key messages and the progress we've made to reduce tobacco's burden. Visit the Community Events page for specific tools to help you host a community event.


Formal presentations to a variety of community groups not only help to raise awareness of the issue, it defines the urgency of our work and motivates community members to take action. A number of presentation templates have been developed on various topics to help you get started.

Public Testimony

Testifying in front of local decision makers or state committees is an important strategy to educate stakeholders on the importance, needs, and successes of the Program. Visit the Public Testimony page for tools to help you make the most of testimony and to refresh/solidify your knowledge of the difference between educating and lobbying.

Earned Media

New media outreach such as letters to the editors, press releases, and photos and captions are an effective way to draw attention to issues in your community. Media coverage is also monitored by local decision makers, meaning earned media outreach can help ensure they see your message. You can get started with this General Constituent Letter to the Editor Template.

Connecting with the Capitol

What happens in Madison matters to all of us. The tools below can connect you with your policymakers and help you stay up to date on the latest happenings at the Capitol.

Connect with Legislators

Click on the links below to see Senate or Assembly districts

Click on the links below to see Senate or Assembly districts with the outlines of MJC jurisdiction areas

Get Notified of Legislative Activity

Research the Legislature