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Director spreads tobacco-free message
by L.A. Story
Mar 24, 2017 | 2223 views | 0 0 comments | 67 67 recommendations | email to a friend | print
New MTFC members have provided items to area schools and events to help inform children regarding the pitfalls of tobacco use.
New MTFC members have provided items to area schools and events to help inform children regarding the pitfalls of tobacco use.
With several events under her belt, the Mississippi Tobacco-Free Coalition of Alcorn and Tippah Counties’ new project director has many more activities on the horizon.

Stacy Brooks, new project director for MTFC, began taking on her new duties in mid-January. Brooks takes the reigns from former director Anjanette Ratliff.

This is “just the type of job” she was looking for, said Brooks.

With a background as a teacher, Brooks wanted a change of pace, but needed a specific type of job.

“This job literally fell in lap,” she said.

She had worked alongside MTFC for years in a different capacity and someone knew she was looking for a job. Her new position entails all the qualities she would want in a job.

“I really enjoy being out in the community and being involved,” said Brooks. She and her husband, Keith, are Corinth residents. They have two daughters, Madeline and Marleigh.

As Brooks was already familiar with the workings of the organization, she was ready to hit the ground running. She said MTFC had an extremely successful presence at the Father-Daughter Dance earlier in the year. She and other members handed out spa bags to the daughters which contained a bottle of nail polish, a mini nail file and a booklet of information about resisting tobacco.

She said they talked about the negative effects of smoking on the fingernails about how the acetone — such as in nail polish remover — is one of the toxic chemical additives of cigarettes.

They provided smoking cessation information and smoke-free home pledges for the dads. Brooks was excited to report MTFC spoke to around 500 people and secured 200 smoke-free home pledges from fathers.

This month, they visited Corinth Elementary School, Biggersville Elementary School and Blue Mountain Elementary School and presented the Dr. Seuss story “The Lorax” and handed out “Dylan the Dragon” books.

“We read ‘The Lorax’ and talked to the children about how tobacco affects clean air,” said Brooks.

MTFC also was part of a RAT (Resist All Tobacco) Pack interactive presentation with Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi to the kindergarten through second grade at Corinth Elementary School and the elementary school at Blue Mountain.

Immediate upcoming events include having a presence at the Spring Fling Senior Connector on April 19, and they will partner with Junior Auxiliary and Junior Leadership Alcorn for a Community Fun Day/Earth Day event at E.S. Bishop Park Memorial Park on April 22.

“We hope to have about 200 people there and we’ll have games and prizes,” said Brooks.

MTFC will have a presence at the Corinth Coca-Cola Classic 10k Run in May as they will provide information along with water bottles.

Brooks wants the community to know that MTFC works with several departments at Magnolia Regional Health Center, including the Cardiac Rehab and they sponsor a youth soccer team at Crossroads Regional Park.

She wants to continue to increase MTFC’s presence as the organization works to prevent tobacco use among youth, reduce exposure to secondhand smoke for all citizens and to promote tobacco cessation services.

The goal of the Mississippi Tobacco-Free Coalition is to reduce tobacco use among youth and adults. Coalitions work to achieve this goal by implementing activities and programs to prevent the initiation of tobacco use. Community members are encouraged to become involved in MTFC to promote healthy lifestyles.

“Corinth has been ‘tobacco free’ since 2007 and we’re hoping to continue that progress. This is about health and wellness issues that affect everyone,” said Brooks.
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