Minden Teens Gather to Take on Big Tobacco


Students from Minden High School’s Students Against Destructive Decisions group joined nearly 150 Nebraska youth at the No Limits Fall Summit Nov. 20-21 at Camp Comeca near Cozad. No Limits is Nebraska’s youth-led anti-tobacco program. The summit provided information about the tobacco industry’s efforts to attract new users for its products and tools to engage youth in anti-tobacco activism.

Participants included Kodi Broyles, Katie Broyles, Brandi Kluthe, Alexis Frerichs, Alyssa Frerichs, Rachael Nielsen, Katie Pike and Allison Scanlan. Jeffrey Horner, Minden’s SADD sponsor, was the adult sponsor for the group.

Kodi Broyles, Minden High School junior, commented on her experience at the summit, “I think it was very informative but in a way that it made you interested and made you think about the cause. It was great to meet other students that make the same choices as you do.”

“Teens have heard about the health effects of tobacco use, but they might not know what the tobacco industry has done to hide that information and mislead the public,” said Amanda Mortensen, No Limits project coordinator. “We want youth to feel empowered and know that they can change the influence big tobacco has on Nebraska.”

Armed with information, youth attending the summit can fight the impact tobacco companies have in their own communities using activism approaches learned at the summit.

Rachel Nielsen, a junior at MHS, had this to say about the summit, “It was fun and amazing. It was very educational, and I learned a lot about what tobacco does to the body. I also learned about the new products that big tobacco uses to lure teens to tobacco use.”

The No Limits Fall Summit included youth in grades 7 through 12. The event was free for participants, and No Limits provided transportation for youth to and from the summit.

For more information about No Limits and the group’s upcoming activities, visit www.NoLimistNebraska.com or contact Mortensen at 866-FYI-TEEN (866-394-8336) or info@nolimitsnebras.wpengine.com.

Smoking Facts:

  • In 2009, 18.4 percent of Nebraska high school students smoked. That’s down from 39.2 percent in 1997. Source: Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services
  • 90 percent of all adult smokers began smoking in their teens or earlier. Source: Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
  • Almost one out of every five high school girls in America is a smoker (18.7%). Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control
  • Each day, about 1,000 people under 18 years of age become regular smokers. Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control
  • Big Tobacco spends an estimated $72.1 million annually on marketing in Nebraska. Source: Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.