Countywide : KCET to Feature Teen Anti-Smoking Efforts

Anti-smoking campaigns by two groups of Orange County high school students will be featured in a public television special early next year.

KCET-TV in Los Angeles is producing the 30-minute program, which has a working title of “Taking Charge,” for broadcast in March.

“We were looking for youth that were initiating [anti-smoking] activities and were in charge of their own groups,” said Yasmine White, a production associate at KCET. The station considered hundreds of projects before choosing three: the two in Orange County and one in Los Angeles.

One of the Orange County projects is “Teen TV,” a public access show that began broadcasting in December on Continental Cablevision.


“Teens teaching teens is a very effective way” to communicate an anti-smoking message, said Debbie Boyer, executive producer and founder of the show and a longtime volunteer for the Newport-Mesa Unified School District. Episodes focus on the issue of teens and tobacco.

Also recognized on the KCET special will be a smoking prevention effort by Edison High’s Coastal Committee on Community Service.

Faculty adviser Gayle Byrne said at least 50 students at the Huntington Beach high school are involved in anti-smoking programs, including an outreach to fourth-graders. “They’re at a real critical point,” Byrne said.