Emily Rice Published

Annual Anti-Tobacco Summit Aims To Slow Nicotine Use In Teens

A man speaks to a group of teens from a stage.
An annual event is set to educate more than 600 youth from across West Virginia about the dangers of nicotine use.
American Lung Association

West Virginia’s Raze will host the 2023 Raze Youth Summit on Oct.18th at the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center.

Raze is a teen anti-tobacco campaign funded and facilitated by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, the Center for Disease Control Prevention and the American Lung Association (ALA).

The event will include educational sessions on building strong mental well-being, a crucial aspect to remaining tobacco-free, according to the ALA.

Chaste Barclay is the Director of Health Promotions at the ALA and oversees youth programs in West Virginia, among other states.

“What a lot of teens, and even parents and grandparents that maybe aren’t as familiar with the products, know that in one vape pod, you have the equivalent of the amount of nicotine is the equivalent of 20 cigarettes,” Barclay said. “So the level of nicotine is quite high. And with teenagers their brains are still developing, it alters their brain chemistry, it makes them more susceptible down the road to other addictions and potential issues with that.”

Additionally, attendees will gain insights and strategies to help effectively navigate peer pressure.

Raze Advisor Eugenia Reesman from East Fairmont High School in Pleasant Valley said she is continually inspired by the passion and dedication of her crew members.

“The summit provides a platform for these remarkable students to drive positive change and equips them with the tools they need to lead tobacco-free lives through education, empowerment and innovation,” Reesman said.

Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting with support from Charleston Area Medical Center and Marshall Health.