MTFC holds quarterly meeting in Ackerman

By Daniel Brunty
The Choctaw Plaindealer

The Mississippi Tobacco-Free Coalition of Choctaw, Montgomery, & Webster Counties held its quarterly Coalition Meeting on August 20, 2015 at Mimi’s Depot Diner in Ackerman.

Conducting the meeting was MTFC of Choctaw, Montgomery, & Webster Counties Project Director Keetha Mosley. Attending the meeting were Coalition members:
• Gennette Robinson, Oral Health Educator with the Miss. Dept. of Health
• Juli Hughes, County Coordinator with the Choctaw Co. Extension Service
• Glen Barlow, Mayor of French Camp
• Sharon James, Instructor at Choctaw Co. Career & Technology Center
• Kim Thomas, Health Science Instructor at Choctaw Co. Career & Technology Center
• Daniel Brunty, Reporter for The Choctaw Plaindealer

The meeting began with Mosley asking all coalition members that were in attendance to make introductions to each other, in the event those members had not met.

After the introductions, Mosley began discussing the organization’s scope of work for 2016. Mosley explained how she has been recruiting schools and other organizations for the Generation Free and R.A.T. (Reject All Tobacco) programs. These youth teams are very useful in helping to educate young children and teenagers the dangers of tobacco.

Mosley then discussed awareness activities the coalition plans to conduct in the upcoming year. Some of those activities include the Great American Smokeout on November 19, 2015, Kick Butts Day on March 16, 2016, and Care for Their Air Day. Mosley plans to coordinate events on these days for adults, childcare centers, and others.

DSC_0076Next was a discussion of advocacy/policy and ordinance work by the coalition. Mosley stated she has plans to conduct a Secondhand Smoke presentation for local businesses and faith-based organizations, to inform them of the dangers of secondhand smoke.

Mosley also gave a brief description of ordinance work, which requires her to work with municipalities that do not have comprehensive some-free air ordinances. To meet the requirements, Mosley participates in Merchants Training to local businesses on training merchants to comply with tobacco laws.

Mosley also mentioned to the coalition members that the coalition provides tobacco-free signs to schools in the counties it serves. These signs can be hung in various locations across a school’s particular campus.

During Mosley’s presentation, the staff of Mimi’s Depot Diner provided a delicious lunch for all coalition members in attendance.

If you would like more information regarding The Mississippi Tobacco-Free Coalition of Choctaw, Montgomery, & Webster Counties, you may contact Keetha Mosley at 662-392-6346 or email at kmosley@mscec.org.