Students Working Against Tobacco Members in Marion County Continue to Leave Their Mark!
November 5, 2016

This year’s Region 2 SWAT (Students Working Against Tobacco) Meeting was an especially educational and entertaining experience for the youth and adult attendees. The day was packed with highly engaging interactive activities and break out groups that were well received by the entirety of its participants. The contributing youth from Marion County were enthusiastic to experience such a valuable learning opportunity; Ryan Stiles raved about it saying, “This was a lot of fun; even more than I expected! I made new friends, and I learned so much; I can’t wait to tell the SWAT Club at Vanguard everything we did!”

Activities varied from a line up challenge ice breaker to team building with role play problem solving, to painted hand prints where youth participated in the “Leave Your Mark” campaign. The local Tobacco Prevention Specialist, Lauren Walter especially enjoyed the role playing team building activity, and the tobacco education that was delivered through a web based answer model game called “Kahoot.” The game could be accessed through a web address on a cell phone. The group came up with a team name and registered for the private game code where multiple choice questions were posed and teams could rack up points against the other teams in the room. The questions were all created in advanced to educate participants on various tobacco topics. This new avenue for learning fostered maximum participation, friendly competition, and by the end a new-found camaraderie.  
Marion County SWAT Youth Kunal Upadya (center) and Ryan Stiles (right) from Vanguard High SWAT Club signing the Regional SWAT Meeting shirt, with the Marion County Tobacco Prevent Specialist Lauren Walter (bottom right).

SWAT is an effective and an increasingly necessary youth tobacco prevention program especially with the electronic cigarette making its way into popularity among youth. “The fragile, developing self-image of the young person needs all the support and enhancement it can get. Smoking may appear to enhance that self-image.” (1973 RJR draft paper, “Some Thoughts About New Brands of Cigarettes For the Youth Market.” Bates No 502987357 -7368). SWAT is so successful because of its empowerment model that encourages youth to make a stand against the advertising and manipulation tactics of Big Tobacco by participating in community events, organizing community anti-tobacco agenda priorities, and presenting city and county ordinances to official councils and boards. Furthermore, it reminds young people that the problem is not the smoker, but the smoke that is permitted in public places around those who have a right to breathe clean air. 

To learn more about QuitDoc Foundation, Marion County Tobacco Free Partnership, SWAT visit our website, or Like us on Facebook:

QuitDoc Foundation:

Marion County Tobacco Free Partnership:

Marion County Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT)

Lauren Walter · Tobacco Prevention Specialist · 352-359-5383 ·