Volume 1: No. 1, January 2004
COMMUNITY CASE STUDIES
Straight from the Heart: Mississippi
Tobacco Control Program
Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi
Suggested citation for this article: Partnership for a Healthy
Mississippi. Straight from the heart: Mississippi Tobacco Control Program
[video transcript]. Prev Chronic Dis [serial online] 2004 Jan [date
cited]. Available from: URL:
MR. DAVIS: My life was so messed up. I was getting in trouble and hanging
out with the wrong crowd. I had to sit down and think about what I wanted to
do in life.
NURSE WARREN: Hollandale is a little town situated in between cotton
fields. Kids don't have a lot to do with their time. My job is to get the
kids from the streets and bring them over here where we got something for
them to do. So when they come to school, we have to be armed and ready to
kind of pull our kids back from the streets.
MR. DAVIS: They said my tongue would, you know, get me killed.
NURSE WARREN: Patrick, he was constantly in trouble, fighting, stealing.
He just loved trouble. He was one of those people who was like a magnet — where trouble was, you would find Patrick Davis.
MR. DAVIS: When I was sent to jail, I was thinking about my life and what
I wanted to do in life.
NURSE WARREN: He was like a work in progress when I first met him. His
reputation had preceded him. But while he was in detention he got a chance
to think — this is not the way I want my life to go. I don't want to be
smoking. I don't want to be drinking. I don't want to be over here. So he
decided his self that he needed to make that change. So he became more and
more involved in Teens Against Tobacco, to the point that he's the president
of the group right now, and he's also the star performer, because he has his
own twist to every song that we do. It has a message for him. And what's so
amazing about him when you watch him perform is that he feels what he's
MR. DAVIS: I wanted to turn my life around. Miss Warren, she opened up
her home to me. She taught me to respect myself and other people. Because if
you don't respect yourself, you can't respect other people and other people
won't respect you.
NURSE WARREN: The Tobacco-Free Program sort of just took off and it kind
of had a life of its own. How it works is, with TAT, we talk to the kids
about the facts concerning tobacco. Then we audition for the group as far as
the interpretive dance. And we let the students decide what songs they're
going to use, what message are you trying to portray. And, you know, they do
their routines and they really believe that they can do whatever they set
their minds out to do. So it also builds character and self-esteem for the
individual. So they're more positive and confident in what they can do. And
when they've got peer pressure, they are able to tell others, no, this is
not what I want to do. This is me right here, drug-free, smoke-free,
NURSE WARREN: When I first met Patrick and he wanted to join my group, he
had no balance in life. And that is changed now. And he wants to do right.
And you've got to want it yourself in order to do it.
NURSE WARREN: But it also takes that one person behind you to push. So I
constantly push him.
NURSE WARREN: He has made a big turnaround. It feels real good to know
that, you know, what I'm doing is making a difference not only in Patrick's
life but in the lives of other students within this district and community.
When I go home, I can sleep real good. We're going to take all of our kids
off the street and bring them back where they need to be. And with the help
of the Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi, we're going to be able to do
[Singing.] (End of video clip.)
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