BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — On Monday, October 9, Bismarck Burleigh Public Health (BBPH) will host the Break Free Youth Action Summit (YAS) at the Dream Center.

According to a news release, the event is organized — and supported — by BBPH and Tobacco Free North Dakota (TFND).

There will be around 150 middle and high school students and advisors attending at no cost.

The Youth Action Summit provides youth advocates a chance to demonstrate their passion and commitment to help create the next tobacco-free generation as the summit gives kids tools and resources to find their voice.

One of the national speakers is Dr. Halpern-Felsher from Stanford University, and she will share her knowledge and experience, as kids will learn about the impact of tobacco — including e-cigarettes — on the mental, physical, environmental, and social.

The other speakers are Jordan Watkins and Gina Darville from Truth Initiative, and they will give information on how to educate their peers about the resources available for quitting nicotine products.

“We are excited to host the Annual Bismarck Youth Action Summit! Youth involvement in tobacco prevention is critical, and attending the summit gives students the tools they need to take action and make a positive change, both in their communities and throughout the state,” said BBPH Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator, Sue Kahler.

Kids are at the center of the nation’s current vaping epidemic, and even though there has been a significant decrease in youth smoking rates, vaping, or the use of electronic cigarettes, among high school students is still high.

According to the 2021 Youth Risk Behavior Survey data, vaping among North Dakota high school students is 21% which is higher than the adult e-cigarette use rate of 3.9%.

After the summer, the students who were in attendance will work with peers to create activities for Great American Smoke Out on November 16 and the Great American Spit Out on February 22, 2024.

If you would like more information, you can visit this website.