Rhonda Jewell and Halle Lofton from TATU, Teens Against Tobacco Use, were in studio Tuesday morning to talk to WPKY about the upcoming Great American Smoke Out on Thursday, November 16th.

Rhonda told listeners that TATU formed about 10 years ago as a way for teens to mentor elementary aged kids on the dangers of tobacco use. In the last few years they have joined forces with Champions to help reach more students. Halle, who is a senior at Caldwell County High School, joined TATU when she was a freshman and said that the group and mentoring younger students has improved her leadership skills and mentoring abilities. She said that one of her favorite parts is seeing the kids react to the more “gross” presentations and demonstrations they do during mentoring sessions.

The Great American Smoke Out will be Thursday, November 16th, and is a day set aside to encourage people to quit using tobacco products and to learn about the health issues surrounding the use of tobacco products. Rhonda said that the Caldwell County Health Department has great resources for people who are trying to quit, and that people can also find resources online at tobaccofree.org. Rhonda also mentioned to listeners that there is another day set aside to kick the smoking habit in the spring, Kick Butts Day, which will be sometime in March.

Rhonda then told listeners that TATU will be doing a mentorship session for fourth graders, where the team goes to the elementary school library and does a hands on presentation with two classes at a time, after the beginning of the new year. TATU will then give a station based presentation to Caldwell County’s fifth graders in the elementary gym where they will rotate through stations, later in the spring.

You can catch the full interview with Rhonda Jewell and Halle Lofton below.