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Mississippi Delta Program Wants To Prevent Tobacco Usage, Il

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Mississippi Delta Program Wants To Prevent Tobacco Usage, Illnesses
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Medical students teach elementary school students about tobacco.
Alexandra Watts

Third-year medical students talk with fourth and fifth-grade students at Cleveland’s Parks Elementary School about the effects of smoking.

This presentation is part of Tar Wars, a program put on by medical students from William Carey University in Hattiesburg. The goal to prevent tobacco usage in young people.

Medical student Chelsea Eisenberg said bringing the program to the Delta is important because of health problems in the region.

“Mississippi and particularly the Delta is leading in a lot of pretty big health issues, and smoking is one of the biggest factors that come into play," she said. " If we can reach kids at the young age before they might pick it up as a habit, maybe we can prevent these diseases and cancers from being as rampant in the Delta.”

Eisenberg and another medical student say kids are starting to try vaping and e-cigarettes at a younger age, too.

But student Terry Lee Welch says he learned a lot and is prepared to fight back against any peer pressure.

“I learned how bad smoking is and how it affects people’s lives. Pretty much everything about smoking is bad, and I wouldn’t condone it.”

Tar Wars has been going to Mississippi schools for over 30 years. The program plans to expand to other areas of the Delta.