Grinnell College is hosting the annual summit of the “Just Eliminate Lies” (JEL), youth anti-tobacco group. Cassie Peterson is the president of JEL and says some 300 young people are attending this seventh summit which has the theme: “Lights Out on Big Tobacco.” She says they’ll educate the youth on the basic tobacco facts and information and “the lies and manipulative efforts done so by the industry that we fight against, big tobacco.”

Peterson says they’ll teach the kids to fight back against the tobacco industry. Peterson says they’ll teach the young people how to market against the tobacco companies. Peterson says they’ll use the same message they’ve used in their commercials and events and will teach the kids to take the message back to their hometowns.

Melissa Nelson is one of the members of the executive council that leads the JEL. She says there’s 32 executive council members and three commissioners spread out all across Iowa that coordinate the state events. Nelson says she believes the group is making a difference when it comes to youth tobacco use.

Nelson says when you look at how the rates of teen smoking have gone down, they’ve made an impact. The JEL activities are funded by money from the state’s settlement with the big tobacco companies. The summit wraps up today (Thursday).