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Union County TRU Youth Raise Awareness through Photo Voice Exhibit

March 27 through April 2 has been designated “TRU Week” in North Carolina, and Union County TRU youth are raising their voices about the impact of tobacco at a Photo Voice exhibit at the public library in Monroe. The TRU Photo Voice exhibit is on display in the alcove outside of the Griffin Room. A reception, which is open to the public, will be held Thursday, March 31 from 5:00–7:00pm. The library is located at 316 East Windsor Street in Monroe.

Photo Voice is a strategy used to present problems and solutions in hopes of promoting community change. The topics covered in the exhibit include a range of issues such as secondhand smoke, premature death, sports and tobacco, tobacco litter’s impact on the environment, product marketing and tobacco free policies, as well as the positive impact of the TRU movement.
Participating youth are from the Union County TRU Advisory Council, a group comprised of representatives from local high school TRU clubs. These youth advocates take part in a variety of activities throughout the year to teach their peers about the dangers of tobacco, support tobacco-free schools and promote the benefits of a tobacco-free lifestyle.
Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death and disease in the United States and more than 90% of adult users start before the age of 18. Each day, over 3,000 young people begin smoking or using smokeless tobacco. Reasons that young people start using tobacco are varied and the influences on them to use are also varied, coming from peers, mass media, product availability, family members, and adult role models. TRU groups are committed to creating North Carolina’s first tobacco-free generation.
TRU stands for Tobacco Reality Unfiltered and is the NC Health and Wellness Trust Fund’s (HWTF) initiative that includes both the state’s youth movement and the powerful media campaigns working to dissuade youth from using tobacco. TRU is supported by HWTF-funded grant programs to organizations in all 100 NC counties to reduce teen tobacco use.
The NC Health and Wellness Trust Fund makes North Carolina stronger, both physically and economically, by funding programs that promote preventive health. Created by the General Assembly in 2000 to allocate a portion of North Carolina’s share of the national tobacco settlement, HWTF has invested $199 million to support preventive health initiatives and $116 million to fund prescription drug assistance programs. For more information please visit www.HealthWellNC.com.
For more information about the TRU Photo Voice exhibit, contact Tobacco Free Schools at 704-290-1522 or email kim.bayha@ucps.k12.nc.us or laura.grier@ucps.k12.nc.us.

Written by: Kim Bayha, Tobacco Prevention Specialist
Posted: Mar 28, 2011 by Mrs. Kim Bayha

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