Program set to address youth tobacco prevention

Jan. 25—A listening and educational session that will provide results from a tobacco survey taken by 13 to 18 year olds around the state of Indiana is scheduled for Feb. 6. The free event, which is open to communities in Howard and all surrounding counties, is geared toward parents, anyone working with youth, health professionals and others concerned about the health of Hoosier youth.

The event will take place in Hingst Hall at Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo, 1815 E. Morgan St., Kokomo, from 1:30-3:30 p.m.

An epidemiologist from the Indiana Department of Health Tobacco will present the results of the 2022 Indiana Youth Tobacco Survey, which has shown a decrease in commercial tobacco use among youth in Indiana. However, there are still patterns of e-cigarette usage, flavored tobacco product use and susceptibility to cigarette smoking and e-cigarette use. The session aims to inform attendees about the state survey results and provide an opportunity for an open panel discussion.

Additionally, the session will highlight available tobacco prevention programming and discuss ways schools and youth leaders, as well as community members, can support a tobacco-free generation, according to a news release from organizers. This session is open to anyone who Is interested in learning more about the current state of youth tobacco use in Indiana and what can be done to prevent it.

Featured panelists include Dr. Dana Stewart, Meadows Medical Center pediatrician; Officer James Organ, school resource officer for Kokomo High School; Brian Moon, assistant principal at Taylor Community Schools; Dane Alder, peer coach with Turning Point System of Care; VOICE youth Core team leader; Rob Pruett, Howard County Drug Free; and Katelin Rupp, director of program evaluation for the Indiana Department of Health.

There is no cost to register, but seating is limited. Visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YTSHowardCo to sign up. Light refreshments will be served.