Philadelphia, PA, May 10, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- According to the Center for Disease Control, each day in the United States, more than 3,200 youth aged 18 years or younger smoke their first cigarette, and an additional 2,100 youth and young adults become daily cigarette smokers.

Philadelphia had the second-highest smoking rate among the 30 largest cities: 25.5 percent of adult Philadelphians reported being smokers. To fight for our first tobacco-free generation, the key is connecting with Philadelphia’s youth.

The #RealTalkTobacco #RISE Youth Summit is a convening of over 200 youth leaders from around the Philadelphia and Southeastern PA area who are currently engaged in or are passionate about public health advocacy work including tobacco control and prevention.

This year’s summit is on Friday, May 11, 9:30 am – 4:30 pm at WHYY, Inc. (150 6th Street, Philadelphia).

“I can’t express enough the importance of training and empowering our youth leaders,” said Amanda Irizarry, Program Manager for the Advocacy Institute. “This summit equips them with the skills, knowledge, and courage needed to create change in their communities - both locally and nationally.”

The summit features workshops Power & Policy, Advocacy & Activism, Social Media: The Power is in Your Hands, and Taking Down Big Tobacco Together. Moderators include representatives from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, The Philadelphia Youth Commission and Advocacy Institute’s Youth Facilitators. Motivational Speaker Matt Randsdell Jr. will be headlining the summit.

According to a 2017 Pew Charitable Trust study, Philadelphia had the second-highest smoking rate among the 30 largest cities: 25.5 percent of adult Philadelphians reported being smokers. To fight for our first tobacco-free generation, the key is connecting with Philadelphia’s youth.

“I can’t express enough the importance of training and empowering our youth leaders,” said Amanda Irizarry, Program Manager for the Advocacy Institute. “This summit equips them with the skills, knowledge, and courage needed to create change in their communities - both locally and nationally.”

Entry is free, along with SWAG, giveaways, food and much more. The summit is open to youth aged 13 – 18 years old. Adult Chaperones with the youth group (5 youth minimum) are allowed to attend the summit as volunteers.

“Philadelphia teens have the power to change this city for a healthier future,” said Jamie Magee, Director, Tobacco Prevention & Control at HPC. “We want to give them the tools and confidence to stand together in the fight against Big Tobacco.”

To register for the summit, please visit:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/3rd-annual-realtalktobacco-rise-youth-summit-tickets-43037945654.

If you plan to attend the summit, have any questions or would like to connect with the incredible Youth Ambassadors, please contact Alison Kessler (alison@breadandbutterphilly.com) or Marcia Perry (marcia@pmg.media).



About Health Promotion Council

Health Promotion Council (HPC) is a non-profit corporation organized in 1981 whose mission is to promote health and prevent and manage chronic diseases, especially among vulnerable populations through community-based outreach, education, and advocacy. HPC became an affiliate of PHMC in 1999. HPC maintains more than 30 years of experience in chronic disease prevention and management work and reaches more than 40,000 people annually across Pennsylvania.

About The Advocacy Institute

The Advocacy Institute (AI) is a premier youth empowerment program, an initiative of Health Promotion Council (HPC), with a mission to empower the youth of Philadelphia to make sustainable community changes through policy, community, and social media advocacy. Participants gain not only knowledge but opportunities to network and build their leadership skills. The twelve-week program culminates in participants implementing an action project to address a community issue. Upon successfully completing the program, graduates are inducted into the AI Alumni Network where they are given opportunities to reinvest their experience in future cohorts and ongoing campaigns.

About #RealTalk Tobacco

#RealTalkTobacco is one of AI's leading class series. Over two years ago, HPC was tasked with employing our AI model in the fight for a tobacco-free generation. To do so, we have integrated tobacco prevention and control content into the AI curriculum and have trained more than 45 youth leaders in anti-tobacco advocacy focused on issues such as; targeting, tobacco policy and enforcement, youth access and point of sale. Our #RTT Youth leaders continue to lead the way for youth-led tobacco prevention and policy advocacy here in Philadelphia.

Attachments

Marcia Perry
Health Promotion Council, SEPA Tobacco Control Project
717-576-1899
Marcia@pmg.media