reACT! Against Corporate Tobacco held a “Regional Mini-Summit” all day Thursday at the Boys & Girls Club of the Hi-Line.
The conference brought high school students involved in the anti-tobacco activist group from across the Hi-Line, from Chouteau to Malta.
Thirty five students came to hear about how things they can do to fight against corporate tobacco.
Florence Anderson of Chouteau gave a presentation in the gymnasium of the Boys & Girls Club on who the “decision-makers” are in a students state, community and school district.
Anderson broke down advocacy into education and lobbying. She said the students wouldn’t be lobbying, but should always be educating.
Bambi Erving, a founder of reACT!, now fighting tobacco use at the University of Montana, said education is the key to not falling back.
“If we don’t keep educating, people will forget why we have these rules,” Erving said.
The biggest event for reACT! Against Corporate Tobacco’s education is the biannual Celebration on the Hill, where teenagers from across the state head to Helena to talk to legislators about tobacco use.
The next celebration is scheduled for the beginning of the state legislative session in January.
reACT! Against Corporate Tobacco is looking for 14,000 pairs of shoes for the celebration to put on display, showing how many people die from tobacco use every year.
The celebration will be an opportunity for students to use the tips for educating decision-makers, that they pick up at summits like the one Thursday.
The summit also had sessions about how to write anti-tobacco radio public service announcements and making a painted pumpkin display.