I’m Lilith Breazeale, a senior from Adair High School, and this is my second year with YAHL, where I was accepted to the Leadership Team (LT). YAHL helps to make Oklahoma a healthier place with its programs by educating communities, connecting with consumers, and talking to our big decision makers to make an impact in policy change. CounterAct Tobacco is a program of YAHL, this campaign is focused on comprehensive retail licensing for electronic vapor products and tobacco education for youth. Today I want to write about my experience with CounterAct Tobacco during the LT Summit.
The Leadership Summit was a four-day trip to OKC meant to train our Leadership Team for the coming year. We learned public speaking abilities, teamwork skills, and communication techniques. Specifically, we learned about CounterAct Tobacco’s mission and how to help spread it. We went out in OKC to collect surveys for the campaign, collecting opinions from tons of different people about tobacco laws.
The summit really showed me what our program's impact could be, through networking I made connections to further the program and make changes in my personal community. We sparked conversations in OKC and got people interested in the program with our surveys. With stronger policies in place, the pressure is taken off of targeted youth and put back into Big Tobacco. The impact of this campaign is clear, with our youth fighting to pass comprehensive retail licensing, end preemption, and educate our peers about the harmful effects of electronic tobacco products, there’s no doubt that we can reshape our states' overall health. In collecting surveys and networking with TSET representatives, we’ve seen how people truly care about making a change in how we handle counteracting tobacco in Oklahoma. I'm so grateful for this chance to grow my leadership skills and learn more about our CounterAct Tobacco program.
By Lilith Breazeale, YAHL Leadership Team member from Adair High School