Roughly 200 teens came together Saturday to take part in the regional Raze Kick-Off event at West Virginia University Parkersburg.
The annual event helps educate teens from all over the state about tobacco prevention advocacy. Participating teens take part in team-building activities and sessions to strengthen their knowledge and ability to fight back against the tobacco industry.
Organizers say each teenager leaves with a goal and a clear idea on how to achieve it.
"We help them create a work plan. We gave them a list of 14 steps that they can do, the can contact their regional tobacco prevention coordinator and they can get a tobacco free park policy," says Katie Baldwin, Teen Advisory Council President. "So, we've given them a work plan and a mission to accomplish by the end of the year."
Baldwin says educating kids before they have a chance to fall victim to big tobacco advertising schemes helps them avoid tobacco when they reach the age they can legally purchase it.