Four local teens attend 2011 reACT Teen Summit
Jerry Wachal, Christian Reese, Cameron Reese of Polson High School
and Eizabeth Morigeau of Arlee High School walked the red carpet with
nearly 100 Teen activists from across Montana to the sixth annual react
Teen Summit June 21-23 at Carroll College in Helena to learn how policy
change can make a big difference in the fight against tobacco.
The 2011 Hollywood-themed Summit comes on the heels of a
nationwide trend to get teens more involved in policy change. Smoking
in movies, for example, has been linked to youth tobacco initiation.
According to a report published by the Centers for Disease Control,
“Exposure to onscreen smoking in movies increases the probability that
youths will start smoking.”
Teens at the Summit chose from several policy issues that
interest them-other topics included tobacco-free parks, point of
purchase advertising and tobacco and ad placement in magazines. With
each topic, they spent time learning about the issue, planning, and
implementing the first steps of that particular policy change.
Christian Reese, Polson stated that he is excited to bring
react activities to the Polson area. “I hope to assist the community
plan more Tobacco-Free events”. Christian was voted the most
“Outstanding Reactor” at the Summit. He hopes to make positive changes
in our environment!
Interactive sessions gave teens tools to support policy work:
sessions focused on meeting with decision makers, collaborating with
other groups, garnering earned media building support and training
Mike Leach, a naturalist and motivational speaker from
Yellowstone County, coached teens about youth policy and activism. In
addition, a team of trainers well-versed in tobacco policy traveled
from all over the country to work with the reACT program.
reACT is Montana’s statewide teen-led movement that empowers
teens to fight back against commercial tobacco use, react is funded by
the Montana Tobacco Use Prevention Program. For more information on
react and the 2011 Teen Summit, visit www.reactmt.com.
Bev Machacek, Lake County Health(883-7480) and Cristen
Morigeau, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes(745-3525) are the
adult prevention specialists for the local react teens.