Mythbuster: Daniel Giuffra

A student helping Latino communities access accurate information on tobacco prevention.

Daniel, 18, is co-creator and president of Tobacco Free Missouri Youth Advisory Board. Under his leadership, the board has helped and participated in several campaigns at state and national levels.

Daniel’s commitment to learning and to assisting in smoking cessation and tobacco prevention has been instrumental in helping minorities - primarily the Latino community - understand the complex issues surrounding tobacco addiction. He has taken on the challenge to help an under-served population face those issues by translating forms, facts sheets, etc., from English to Spanish to help Latinos understand all the issues and the steps they need to take to be tobacco free.

Thanks to his efforts, this minority group was able to receive much needed information to help them quit smoking and make the program Casa De Salud in St. Louis, MO, a success.

In addition, Daniel has dedicated time in his community  to assist Peruvian American Medical Society (medical missions) with fundraisers and with Companeros Unidos, a student-led program that involves high school students teaching a Spanish class in lower grades once a week. He is also a volunteer at the Emmaus House in St. Louis, a faith-based organization that provides around the clock services to more than 250 adults with developmental disabilities in the St. Louis metropolitan area. 

Daniel took his desire to learn more about nicotine addiction to a higher level this past summer by attending an internship at the University of Toronto, with the objective of improving his understanding of the science behind nicotine addiction. He researched the link between genetics and marijuana as it relates to age at onset of schizophrenia. He worked with the Neurogenetics lab to prepare a paper titled, Age at onset of schizophrenia: cannabis, COMT gene, and their interaction.  His research has been submitted to Schizophrenia Research, as well as an abstract to International Congress on Schizophrenia Research.

Daniel’s dedication to fighting Big Tobacco fueled his iinvolvement in forming Tobacco Free Missouri’s Youth Advisory Board. During its first year, the board won the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids National Youth Advocate of the Year group award. Daniel has taken this honor seriously and made good use of the platform from which to share his passion for tobacco control with other youth. Recently he was a speaker and presenter for the 2013 Maine Youth Leadership Conference. His efforts have saved many lives from the Big Tobacco deception.