HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The partnership for a healthy Mississippi held its area conference in Hattiesburg Wednesday.
More than 200 seventh and eighth graders spent the day at the Lake Terrace Convention Center to learn about making healthy lifestyle choices and create change in their communities related to the reduction of tobacco use.
It is all part of the Mississippi Department of Health's 2017 iFLY (Inspiring Future Leaders Youth) conference.
Program officials said they hope the kids go back with a better understanding of the dangers of tobacco use, and that it may hopefully save someone's life.
"I have a great mindset not to smoke and to tell many of my family that smoke not to because it hurts a lot of organs in your body," said Frederick Johnson, seventh grader from Leakesville Junior High.
There will be four more conferences like this one across the state of Mississippi next week.