Thirteen groups of youth from across the state began the training with Tobacco 101 which is supported by CVS Health Foundation, Campaign for Tobacco – Free Kids, and Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

Youth from Morgan County RI and RII Tobacco Free groups attended “Taking Down Tobacco” trainer training on Thursday, Nov. 9, at the Benson Convention Center in Clinton.

Thirteen groups of youth from across the state began the training with Tobacco 101 which is supported by CVS Health Foundation, Campaign for Tobacco – Free Kids, and Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

The program is a free app and online training program that trains youth to #BeTheFirst tobacco-free generation. It educates and engages youth to fight against tobacco and provides training to advocate for “Taking Down Tobacco." Content includes: dangers of tobacco use, emerging products, industry marketing, and the power of youth voices to fight tobacco.

Attending the training were Donna Chapman, mentor; Anna Knoerle and Quinton Ryerson from Morgan County RII and Anna Koeller, mentor; Grace Unger and Zach Estes from Morgan County RI. These youth will lead school and community trainings throughout the school year.

The content of the program includes many important facts:

• Tobacco is the No. 1 preventable cause of death in the United States and the world.

• Tobacco is the only product that if used exactly as intended will kill half of its users.

• Cigarette butts are toxic in the environment and they can be poisonous to children, pets and wildlife.

• Even pets can develop health problems if they are exposed to secondhand smoke. Pets are twice as likely to develop cancer if their owner smokes.

• The tobacco industry spends about $1 million per day in Missouri to market their products.

• Published research studies have found that kids are twice as sensitive to tobacco advertising as adults and are more likely to be influenced to smoke by cigarette marketing than by peer pressure.