Teens Work to be First Tobacco-Free Generation at TNSTRONG Youth Summit

From the Tennessee Department of Health

CHATTANOOGA – More than 400 teens from communities across Tennessee gathered at the Chattanooga Convention Center June 3 – 5, 2018 to take part in the Tennessee Department of Health’s TNSTRONG Youth Summit, a statewide tobacco prevention conference. “TNSTRONG” stands for “Tennessee Stop Tobacco and Revolutionize Our New Generation,” the name chosen by youth for their movement to promote tobacco-free lifestyles.

The TNSTRONG Youth Summit provided a forum for participants representing 52 counties from across Tennessee to build their youth-led movement of peer-to-peer education and advocacy for prevention of tobacco and nicotine addiction. Participants received training and learned strategies from both nationally-recognized experts and their Tennessee peers for implementing effective tobacco and nicotine addiction prevention activities in their own communities. They were challenged and empowered to continue their advocacy for tobacco and nicotine addiction prevention once they returned home

“Tobacco is an old menace,” says Tennessee Commissioner of Health, said TDH Commissioner John Dreyzehner, MD, MPH. “It’s not seen as the drag on our health and prosperity it truly is. But these youth know better. They’re the generation that can put an end to it and make Tennessee a state that can lead on well-being for everyone and an economy that will thrive.”

TNSTRONG Youth Summit attendees participated in the inaugural TNSTRONG Anti-Tobacco Media Competition. Contestants created short video messages to discourage use of tobacco products and/or encourage people using tobacco products to quit. The first place prize was awarded to a group of students from Hamilton County who created the video “Killing Me Smokely”: Dereke Townsend and Desman Ware of Brainerd High School, De’Koryon Powell of Tyner Academy, Amya Tucker of the Center for Creative Arts and Arron Crowder of McCallie School. They were mentored by Armand Wine of Avondale Youth and Family Development Center. These winners were invited to showcase their video at the summit and shared a cash prize.

The TNSTRONG Youth Summit, provided at no cost to participants, is modeled on successful peer-to-peer tobacco and nicotine addiction prevention efforts in other states, including Texas and Mississippi.

Learn more about the TNSTRONG Youth Summit online at www.tn.gov/health/health-program-areas/fhw/tn-strong.htmland on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TNSTRONGmovement/.

The Tennessee Department of Health partnered with more than 40 organizations to plan and execute the TNSTRONG Youth Summit:

Partner Organizations
Tennessee Department of Health
Isenhour International
Truth Initiative®
Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids
Chattanooga Convention and Visitor’s Bureau
American Cancer Society
American Lung Association
Tennessee Aquarium
Marriott Chattanooga Downtown
The Chattanoogan

Partner Health Departments
Knox County Health Department
Metro Public Health Department
Shelby County Health Department
Jackson-Madison County Regional Health Department
Sullivan County Regional Health Department
Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department

Participating Organizations
Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley
Weakley County Youth Coalition
Kappa Leadership League of Memphis
Carter County Drug Prevention/Carter County Health Department Youth Board
Unlimited Potential Inc., Middle School Enrichment Program
Hamilton County Coalition
Grundy Safe Communities Coalition
Williamson County Anti-Drug Coalition
ASCEND Program
Power of Putnam
New Vision Youth
Whitwell Middle School
Children Are People, Inc.
Nelson Resource Center
Macon County Jr. Interact
Alvin C. York Institute
Robertson County AFL/Youth Council
Meigs County Youth Leadership Program
Cannon County High School Teen Health Council
Lewis County Health Council Youth/ Tobacco Subcommittee
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Nu Kappa Omega
Mt. Nebo Baptist Church Youth
Van Buren County High School T4 Student Leadership Team
Tobacco Free Hamblen County
Tennessee Teens Talk Tobacco
Nelson Resource Center
Monroe County SADD
Tobacco Terminators
Casey Youth Coalition
Children Are People, Inc.
H.O.P.E Help Our Potential Evolve
White County High School S.A.D.D. Chapter
731 No Pressure Youth

Source: https://www.tn.gov/health/news/2018/6/25/t...