PETAL, Miss. (WDAM) - A student-led tobacco prevention program was held on campus at Petal High School on Thursday.
The event was made possible by the BU Program, which partnered with the Department of Health to create the Youth Tobacco and Vape Prevention Program.
The program empowers at-risk youth, encouraging them to reject tobacco and vaping products.
It also helps educate about the dangers of tobacco use through a peer-to-peer approach, promoting a positive behavioral change of smoking cessation among student smokers.
During the presentation, students were shown videos related to smoking prevention and health-related consequences and participated in a Q&A session.
Rayburn Paris, a student leader at Petal High School, said it’s their goal to promote healthy choices for everyone.
“Our job is to just be advocates for other students our age, sort of being a voice to try to prevent them from using vapes and tobacco, and so sort of empathize with them in a way because we’re the same age,” Paris said.
“We definitely encourage advocacy between students our age, but also students going out to family members and to people in the community to stop smoking,” he added.
The group recently held a Kick Butt Day, which challenged smokers to stop for at least 24 hours.
Thursday’s event was made possible in part by the nonprofit The Caffee & Caffee Public Health Foundation. It is sanctioned by the Mississippi Department of Health Office of Tobacco Control to initiate and implement a youth tobacco & vaping prevention program.
The goal is to create a Tobacco-Free Generation by educating a minimum of 100 youth at each participating high school.