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On May 31, I had an opportunity to observe some outstanding Juneau young people as they participated in World No Tobacco Day.
Realistically dressed as tobacco-using movie stars, rather than as they are glamorously portrayed in the movies, they paraded through downtown Juneau. The flyer they handed out included a list of the 100 percent smoke-free restaurants in Juneau. (One Australian visitor seemed especially grateful, as he indicated that all restaurants in Australia are smoke-free.)
These teens also serve as mentors to students in the elementary schools. They go to classes and tell students about the value of staying tobacco free, and teach them of the dangers of use. Their preventive work is likely saving the lives of many students who will never start smoking. Their leader is Ruth Simpson, with National Council of Alcohol and Drug Dependency. She provides support and guidance in their efforts throughout the year.
Teens Against Tobacco Use are displaying decision and leadership skills, by the choices they are making early in their lives, that forecast that they have what it takes to be successful on any path they may choose for the future. They deserve our applause and thanks for their good citizenship!