Over 600 Iowa college and high school students are gathered in Ames today for the start of a three-day anti-tobacco “boot camp”. The “Just Eliminate Lies” group, known as JEL, is hosting the summit, which is drawing kids from 75 Iowa counties. Tammi Blackstone is JEL’s coordinator and says they’ve attracted attention with hard-edged advertising. One billboard company refuses to put up the ads because they’re so gross in depicting the ravages of cancer. Blackstone says the students in Ames will tape a new commercial that she says will get out “the powerful vision of the 619 students.” She says they won’t say more so the ad will be a surprise.The summit began at one o’clock this afternoon and runs through Thursday.Blackstone says the students will talk about how the tobacco industry targets kids.On Thursday, the 619 students will march across the Iowa State University campus to stress their anti-smoking message. The conference is financed with the money tobacco companies are paying the state as part of a legal settlement.
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