Teens Kick Ash - Youth Tobacco-Free Advocacy Conference

Teens Kick Ash is intended to develop the next generation of tobacco-free advocates. Through hands-on training and team-building activities, middle and high school students from all over Ventura County learn about tobacco-related health risks and network with each other about how to effect positive change in their own healthy behaviors, in their schools, and within their communities. They will participate in workshops on various topics including advocacy, effective presentations, social media, video productions, and journalism. The conference teaches students about nicotine addiction and the tobacco industry’s marketing strategies to attract young people. The conference is presented annually by the Ventura County Office of Education’s department of Comprehensive Health and Prevention Programs. Meet our speaker below!


VICTOR J. DENOBLE, Ph.D. was recruited in 1980 by the Phillip Morris Research Center to build a secret research lab and to develop a cigarette with reduced heart risk. After successfully identifying a nicotine substitute that did not elevate the heart rate in animal models, his attempts to publish his work were suppressed by Philip Morris. He was eventually fired and his laboratory and data were seized.
In 1994, after a decade of being silenced by a secrecy agreement, Dr. DeNoble became the first whistle-blower to testify before Congress about his research conducted within the tobacco industry. His research showed that nicotine has addictive properties similar to other drugs of addiction. His congressional testimony was the cornerstone for sweeping changes in public policy regarding tobacco use, the national tobacco settlement and the events leading up to President Obama’s signing into law the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act in 2009. Dr. DeNoble is also the subject of the film documentary "Addiction Incorporated" released in 2011.
Since his congressional testimony, Dr. DeNoble has been speaking to a wide range of audiences about his experience in the tobacco industry and providing education about the science of drug addiction.