Event Wrap-up: World No Tobacco Day

Youth from across Nebraska celebrated World No Tobacco Day with No Limits May 30-31, 2019, in Lincoln. During the two-day event, we engaged in workshops about tobacco’s impact on youth, our communities and the environment as well as celebrated our ability to be active because of our healthy lungs and Nebraska’s Clean Air Act.

Workshop topics included:

  • No Limits 101 – A brief history of our organization, overview of new and emerging tobacco products, and an introduction to ways you can incorporate No Limits into activities in your school and community.
  • Social Norms and our Communities – While e-cig (Juul) use is on the rise, the majority of our peers are not using tobacco products, and we identified how we can empower each other to remain tobacco-free.
  • Harmful Impacts of Tobacco – We researched and presented on the following topics: Impact on the Environment, Impact on the User, Diseases Related to Tobacco, Impact of Second (and Third) Hand Smoke, and Dangers of Nicotine on the Teen Brain.
  • Empower and Activate – We brainstormed tobacco-related challenges in our communities and developed implementation plans for potential solutions.
  • Activism 101 – Introduced a variety of activism projects and prepared for the cigarette butt clean-up project scheduled for Centennial Mall Park.

Workshops took place at Firespring, and then we traveled throughout Lincoln for some fun, remembering all of these things are better when we (and the environment) are tobacco free. We went to Urban Air Adventure Park, Lincoln Children’s Zoo, Centennial Mall Park, Densmore Park and stayed overnight at a local hotel.

We are so thankful that Nebraska passed the Clean Indoor Air Act 10 years ago, something we should celebrate every day! For pictures of our event, click the Gallery tab above and be on the lookout for more interactive, hands-on celebrations like this in the future!


Four No Limits Members Attend Philip Morris Shareholders Meeting

Kallyn Antholz, Kamrin Edmonds, Kaylee Koch and Seth Vlasak joined 120 teens from across the country to take on Altria Group executives and shareholders in Richmond, Virginia, for the fourth consecutive year in May. Organizing outside of the Richmond Convention Center, the group voiced their discontent of the tobacco giant baiting consumers and public health officials with the promise of withdrawing pod-based nicotine products from the market to combat teen vaping use only to turn around and invest $12.8 billion in Juul Labs. Here’s what No Limits members had to say about the experience.

“This experience itself has inspired me to take more steps in the fight against Big Tobacco. I know now that it isn’t just us youth from Nebraska who are trying to change Big Tobacco policies, but youth from across America. It makes me feel like we are making a difference, and if we continue the fight, we will have victory in the end.” — Kaylee Koch

“I think that it’s important to show these representatives and everyone else at the meeting that we aren’t going to back down. They can keep coming up with marketing tactics and different flavored products targeting youth, but through all of that, we will be here.” — Kallyn Antholz

“The most motivational part of the experience for me is when we asked the company (Altria) about how deadly their products were, and they dodged the questions. It was so frustrating to see how much they put profits over the value of human life. Youth having a presence at this meeting is very important because Big Tobacco needs to hear that we are tired of their crap.” — Seth Vlasak

“Being one of 100-plus youth rallying outside of the meeting helps us recognize that this isn’t just a local or state issue. It’s a national and worldwide problem. I met advocates from all over the country, learned new tobacco-related issues facing teens, and finally rallied outside of a PM USA Shareholders Meeting!” — Kamrin Edmonds

We are so proud to have these incredible youth part of No Limits, and thankful for the work they are doing! If you’d like to get involved in activism in Nebraska, check out our Activism Mini-grants and Activism Toolkits! To see what national issues are currently being addressed, click here to learn more.


Final Thoughts from Your 2018-2019 Co-Chair

As we thank Breonna, Emily, Kallyn, Kamrin, Miranda and Seth for their incredible leadership and wish them the best as they graduate from high school, our 2018-19 co-chair Kallyn offers some final thoughts for us as we prepare to carry on their excellence.

Last month, I graduated high school and am now moving on to the next chapter in my life. It has given me some time to spend reflecting on the things I have accomplished and participated in before I start college this fall. I have participated in No Limits since 7th grade, joined the Youth Board my sophomore year and became co-chair with Kamrin Edmonds this year.

Through this fantastic organization, I have been able to speak out to youth about the dangers of tobacco and how the tobacco companies impact our lives, attend the Philip Morris Shareholders Meeting in Virginia and countless other things that I will be forever grateful for. Being part of the Youth Board has taught me so many things that I could have never learned otherwise, such as how to talk to people like senators, how to educate others, how to stand up for things I believe in and how to empower youth to take a stand against Big Tobacco. So, my advice to you is whether you are going to be a seventh grader or a senior, take a chance on something that might be frightening to you. It can change your life drastically. So join that club, join that organization, go to that event — because you only get so much time to enjoy these things, so do it while you can.

Thank you to all of the youth that have come to our events throughout the years. None of the things we have accomplished would have been done without your hard work and dedication. Lastly, thank you to my fellow Youth Board members for working so incredibly hard to achieve our goals. You guys have been such an amazing team and amazing friends as well. I can’t wait to see what you accomplish in the upcoming years.

Sincerely,
Your 2018-2019 Co-Chair Kallyn Antholz