400 Louisiana Teens Expected to Attend 5th Annual Youth & Young Adult Summit on Tobacco Advocacy

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More than four hundred Louisiana middle, high school and college students are expected to participate in the fifth annual Youth and Young Adult Summit on Tobacco Advocacy on Saturday, March 3, 2012, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Dillard University Professional Schools Building (2601 Gentilly Blvd., New Orleans).

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Not only do we want to create awareness around tobacco industry marketing toward youth, but we also want to empower youth to resist that manipulation and live healthy, tobacco-free lives.

More than four hundred Louisiana middle, high school and college students are expected to participate in the fifth annual Youth and Young Adult Summit on Tobacco Advocacy on Saturday, March 3, 2012, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Dillard University Professional Schools Building (2601 Gentilly Blvd., New Orleans).

The event is sponsored by the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL), the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals Tobacco Control Program, American Legacy Foundation, Dillard University and WQUE-FM Q-93. Its mission is to promote an understanding of the importance of youth leadership when it comes to tobacco-related issues and policy change.

According to the 2011 Louisiana Youth Tobacco Survey conducted by the Louisiana Tobacco Control Program, 23.6 percent of Louisiana high school students currently smoke cigarettes, which is an increase from 19 percent in 2009. This is despite the fact that 62 percent of youth reported seeing or hearing media messages about the dangers of tobacco use in the past year.

The tobacco summit invites middle, high school and college students from across Louisiana to learn about tobacco industry marketing that targets youth, the reality of youth access to tobacco products, and how young people can become involved in tobacco-related policy changes in their schools and communities.

Participants will experience a variety of presentations and interactive workshops throughout the day, including presentations such as:

o    Yes Duffy, from MTV’s Road Rules - “Taking it to the Streets” using visual arts and graffiti to promote tobacco-free messages

o    Chris Blackburn, former Biggest Loser contestant - “The Size of Addiction-How Smoking and Obesity Go Hand in Hand”

o    Chad Bullock of MTV fame, “Igniting Initiative”- exploring tobacco’s impact and how taking initiative is the only way to change it.

o    American Legacy Foundation -“Social Justice and Tobacco”

And many more . . .

“Not only do we want to create awareness around tobacco industry marketing toward youth, but we also want to empower youth to resist that manipulation and live healthy, tobacco-free lives,” said April Cabrera, TFL Program Coordinator for Youth and Young Adults.

The summit kicks off with a Crush the Lies rally and will conclude with a concert by Dee-1. For more information, visit http://www.tobaccofreeliving.org. For information about attending the conference, contact Ritney Castine, Healthy Communities Project Coordinator, at (225) 342-9499 (office), (225) 278-5057 (cell), or Ritney(dot)Castine(at)la(dot)gov.

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Mary Fein
Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI)
(504) 301-9814
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