Youth and Young Adult Efforts

People who do not start using tobacco by age 18 will most likely never start.[1] Nearly 9 out of 10 people who smoke (about 87 percent) started smoking by age 18, and nearly 99 percent started by age 26.[2] However, new e-cigarette devices and other emerging tobacco products are regularly introduced and target youth. As a result, more youth are using e-cigarettes, which reverses the years of progress made to decrease youth tobacco use.

Peers Against Tobacco (PAT)

The Texas Tobacco Prevention and Control Program contracts with the University of Texas at Austin to lead PAT, which is a tobacco prevention and control initiative for colleges and universities in Texas.

PAT implements a peer-led initiative to eliminate all forms of tobacco use on college campuses across Texas. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Using curriculum and outreach campaigns.
  • Creating policy implementation guides.
  • Maintaining a database of all tobacco-related college policies.

The Texas College Tobacco Policy Database lists the campus tobacco policies of postsecondary institutions in Texas and rates each policy based on level of comprehensiveness.

To learn more about PAT, visit

Students, Adults, and Youth Working Hard Against Tobacco (Say What!)

The Texas Tobacco Prevention and Control Program contracts with the Texas School Safety Center at Texas State University to lead Say What!, the statewide tobacco prevention and control youth movement.

Say What!:

  • Educates middle and high school students through mini-grant projects (free “projects in a box” that include well-designed tobacco prevention-focused materials).
  • Raises awareness through social media and other campaigns.
  • Convenes a statewide conference and regional summits to educate and provide youth with the experience and skills needed to become tobacco prevention and control leaders in their communities.

The Statewide Youth Advisory Board, also known as Teen Ambassadors, provide guidance on Say What! and are leaders in their community and throughout the state. They educate peers, adults, and stakeholders on the harmful effects of tobacco use.

To learn more about or join Say What!, visit

Texas Youth Tobacco Awareness Program (TYTAP)

The Texas Tobacco Prevention and Control Program contracts with Texas A&M University to administer TYTAP, which is a program for individuals under age 21 who are cited for possession of tobacco products.

TYTAP youth classes are for youth referred by the court, their school, or a parent/guardian. TYTAP classes provide youth with the information and skills necessary to quit tobacco and avoid tobacco products in the future.

Locate information for the courts and information for schools. For questions regarding TYTAP youth classes, or other general questions email

TYTAP Youth Classes[a]

Find a TYTAP Class and Instructor Near You:

  • TYTAP Instructor List A: This list is current as of June 21, 2024 and includes all certified TYTAP Instructors in Texas. Use List A to find an instructor in your county and contact them using the phone number provided about a TYTAP class. If there is not an instructor on List A for your county, then find an instructor in a nearby county or contact an instructor on List B below.
  • TYTAP Instructor List B: This list is current as of June 21, 2024 and includes certified TYTAP Instructors in Texas approved to conduct virtual classes. You can contact the instructors on List B if you were unable to find an instructor in your county or a nearby county on List A.

Verify a TYTAP Instructor Certification:

  • Step 1: Visit Online Licensing Services.
  • Step 2: Under Check License Status, click License Search.
  • Step 3: Search by Name for a Specific License Type.
  • Step 4: Select Texas Youth Tobacco Awareness Program from the dropdown menu for License Type and click Next.
  • Step 5: Enter the name of the instructor off List A or B that you want to verify.
  • Step 6: Click Search.

TYTAP Updates

During state fiscal year 2025 (9/1/24-8/31/25), the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) will begin phasing out the existing Texas Youth Tobacco Awareness Program (TYTAP) and transitioning to a new E-Cigarette and Tobacco Awareness Program.

DSHS will no longer be accepting any TYTAP instructor certification applications.

Starting state fiscal year 2026 (on 9/1/25):

  • The existing TYTAP will no longer be offered or recognized as a DSHS-approved course to meet the requirements of Section 161.253, Texas Health and Safety Code. This includes TYTAP instructor certifications, which will no longer be valid after 8/31/25.
  • The new E-Cigarette and Tobacco Awareness Program will be available statewide and at no cost to individuals under age 21. The new program will provide an online curriculum and be operated by a single contractor. DSHS will no longer use the instructor-based model of TYTAP. More information about this new program will be available in June 2025 on the DSHS Texas Tobacco Prevention and Control Program webpage.

[a]Disclaimer: Approved TYTAP youth classes are only conducted by trained instructors with an active State of Texas TYTAP certification. TYTAP participants should verify that a TYTAP instructor is certified before paying for a TYTAP youth class. Virtual classes offered by any individual or entity besides those listed on this website are not valid. The court might not accept a Certificate of Completion from an uncertified organization, instructor, or website. For more information, please refer to Section 161.253, Texas Health and Safety Code, or email

[1] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020). Smoking and Tobacco Use. Youth and Tobacco.

[2] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2014). The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress. A Report of the Surgeon General.