Miami Valley teenagers are invited to participate in a "Teen Tobacco Summit" at Wright State University on Saturday, Dec. 4. The free event runs from 9:30 a.m. to noon in room E156 in the Wright State Student Union.
The Teen Tobacco Summit is an opportunity for concerned teenagers to share their ideas about how to prevent tobacco use among non-smoking youth and how to encourage young smokers to quit. Participants will learn how tobacco marketing in sports, entertainment and the media influences teen behaviors. Then they will be asked to develop their own anti-tobacco marketing messages. Teenagers who participate in the Teen Tobacco Summit will receive community service credit.
To register, contact Kimberly Freeman at 937/754-9520. The Teen Tobacco Summit is sponsored by the Teen Waves Wellness Coalition, the Miami Valley Health Improvement Council (MCHIC) and Wright State University College of Nursing and Health.
The idea for the summit began with a challenge from U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher. When he visited Dayton to deliver the commencement address for Wright State University School of Medicine, he gave a news conference where he was asked some tough questions about warning labels on cigarette packs. The questions came from Dayton teenagers representing the Teen Waves Wellness Coalition.
Dr. Satcher was impressed to find well-prepared teenagers among the journalists at the news conference. He acknowledged that the warning labels could be improved and invited the teens to write to him with their suggestions about how to do it.
Teen Waves is a media literacy project sponsored by the Alliance for Research in Community Health (ARCH) and the Office of Public Relations at Wright State University School of Medicine. Media literacy is learning how to "read" (how to analyze and think critically about) and produce media messages. Teen Waves' goal is getting teenagers involved in producing effective media messages about health issues that concern them.
In 1998 Teen Waves organized a community forum called "Teens Against Violence" which brought together more than 60 youth from both east and west Dayton as well as community leaders and several Dayton city commissioners. Teen Waves members then recorded "Toward the Solution," a one-hour documentary on youth violence broadcast on public radio station WYSO FM. This year the coalition's attention turned to tobacco. Answering the Surgeon General's challenge to improve the warning labels on tobacco products is the goal of the Teen Tobacco Summit. Ideas generated at the summit also may lead to an anti-tobacco media campaign produced by interested teens.