Free workshops offered on dangers of smoking

Troy Kennedy is doing his part to help people, especially young people, avoid the dangers of smoking. He has been leading workshops, including one recently for students at the Southwest Center for Rural Initiatives in Opelousas, where he is based. But Kennedy, the center’s regional coordinator for the Communities of Color Network, said he gives these free talks throughout the 10-parish area the center serves. “I have talks geared to everyone from pre-kindergarten students to people 100 or older,” he said. “I can teach anyone.” The Communities of Color Network, an affiliate of the Louisiana Public Health Institute and the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living, provides support and technical assistance to African-American communities to help ensure that they are well-informed about the dangers of tobacco and understand how to protect themselves from unhealthy exposure. Its mission is to eliminate health inequalities caused by or related to tobacco use among Louisiana communities of color by building coalitions, increasing awareness of