Janesville73.2°

Teens take anti-smoking message to capital

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Stacy Vogel
October 4, 2007
— The middle schoolers squirmed, and some looked away.

But there was no escaping the message from a group of determined teens Wednesday.


It was plain as day in the graphic pictures, charts and demonstrations they offered to encourage Milton Middle School students to stay away from tobacco, alcohol and illegal drugs.


Next week, the teens will present their message to the entire state. Their goal: nothing less than a smoke-free Wisconsin.


The teenagers at Milton Middle School on Wednesday are part of Rock County Youth2Youth, an advocacy group that trains young people to teach even younger students about the dangers of tobacco and other substances.


The six young women from Edgerton and Milton high schools each explained why they choose not to smoke:


n An athlete who wants to keep her lungs clear.


n A singer who doesn’t want to ruin her voice.


n A granddaughter who lost her grandmother to lung cancer.


“We’re not here to tell you not to smoke,” said DeeDee Williams, the students’ supervisor and a Youth2Youth prevention specialist. “That’s a choice you have to make.”


But the point was clear in the students’ presentation: Drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes and marijuana destroy your body, mind and finances.


They showed a set of healthy, pink pig lungs compared to black, grimy lungs that had been injected with cigarette ingredients. They poured BBs into a metal bowl to represent the people killed every day by drugs



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