Words from Dichele White about her experiences at the Break Free Alliance - Health Education
Council Conference (New Orleans, LA)
"I had the privilege of attending the Health Education
Councils BREAK FREE ALLIANCE Conference in New Orleans. It was a great learning experience during the opening plenary and
in the breakout sessions. During the opening plenary, I found out that the youth ages 18 –
24 have one of the highest cigarette smoking prevalence rate among the nation’s poor and those individuals that have
less than a high school education. The tobacco industry is also outspending on prevention.
In 2012, the Surgeon General Report stated that 1,200 deaths due to cigarettes/ tobacco products and 3,800 kids picked
up their first pack of cigarettes. Also, you can acquire a lifetime of health issues & vascular disease
from cigarette smoking.
1. Helping Pregnant & Post-Partum Smokers Quit- This session focused on promoting
policy change within organizations serving low SES women for the integration of a best practice approach to prenatal/postpartum
2. Road to Wellness: Cessation Programming for Those with Mental Illness-
The session focused on strategies to reduce tobacco use prevalence rates among individuals suffering from mental illness.
3. Fighting Against Corporate Tobacco: Using the Power
of Teen Advocacy to Influence Policy- This session was really appreciated, due to the two teens stepping out of their
comfort zone presenting at the conference. This session gave me a better appreciation for the important
role minority and low SES youth play in reducing teen tobacco use.
Disadvantaged Communities in Advocacy and Education- This session showed the ability of communities to effectively
tackle health equity issues in tobacco control and beyond."
About Project FIRST
Project FIRST is comprised of women who share a common goal of reducing the use of tobacco and
tobacco products in Ascension Parish. The women strive to advocate on behalf of women and girls by urging local city officials
and other community members to take a stand against big tobacco companies.
As a group, the women decide their area(s) of focus, such as:
1. Urging local
clubs and bars to become smoke-free
2. Contacting local churches about getting involved in the fight against tobacco
3. Asking local smoke-free establishments to spread the word to other establishments becoming smoke-free
of Being a Project FIRST Member:
1. Collaborate with like-minded women
2. Serve as heath advocates
3. Receive incentives for
4. Establish relationships with city and state officials
Requirements of Being a Project FIRST Member:
1. Must plan and implement tobacco prevention advocacy events
Must be willing to communicate with city and state officials
3. Must be 18 years of age or older
4. Must work together
to create an action plan which will contain steps toward achieving tobacco prevention
5. Must be female
have a passion for helping the community
*** One lucky member will be selected to attend an all-expense paid trip to a National Tobacco Prevention
Conference. The selected member must be an active participant. All interested members will have to complete an application,
which will be reviewed and scored by the Board of Directors.
The application deadline is January 31, 2012.***
This project is funded
by the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living