I was born and raised in West Virginia. Growing up, I was close to my grandfather, who started smoking when it was promoted as healthy. By the time society knew how deadly tobacco was, it was too late -- he was highly addicted. I watched him die slowly of emphysema.
I crafted the campaign that reduced teen tobacco use by 32% in two years in the State of West Virginia, which equates to saving more than 7,000 lives. I was the chief strategist for West Virginia's anti-tobacco campaign called "Raze - tear down Big Tobacco lies."
I learned I can make a serious impact.
Yes, we have lots of data and analysis to show this approach -- youth-led, peer-to-peer communication -- is more effective than the traditional adult-led public health education model. University of South Florida, College of Public Health conducted a three-year scientific study. There have also been other independent evaluations. These evaluations show youth are more effective than adults in leading positive health behavior changes in families. Moreover, I have the data and analysis that I utilized in my teen tobacco prevention work, which was the model for Kidz Bite Back. If you would like to chat, call me at 813-294-5612. Take care.