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Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal


Volume 1: No. 1, January 2004

Straight from the Heart: Mississippi Tobacco Control Program


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Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi

Video Transcript

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 doing.

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, tobacco-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 just that.

[Singing.] (End of video clip.)

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The opinions expressed by authors contributing to this journal do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the authors’ affiliated institutions. Use of trade names is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by any of the groups named above.


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