RAT® (Reject All Tobacco) is the only tobacco-free campaign in the country created especially for children in grades K-6.
At this age, studies showed that kids love to get facts and “teach up” to the adults in their lives. RAT® is geared toward giving them all the facts about big bad tobacco. RAT® also aims to change children’s attitudes about tobacco before they reach the age of experimenting with cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and electronic cigarettes.
Our primary objective is to reduce the number of Mississippi children who try tobacco by teaching them about the dangers of the product. Overall, this group is more receptive to the “health-consequences” message than adolescents. The purpose of RAT® is to inoculate children against the allure of tobacco usage.
At the grassroots level, the centerpiece of the RAT® program is the RAT® Pack Show, a live troupe of singing, dancing kids led by a computer-animated rat named Terrance. Audiences get to dance and sing along with Terrance and his crew as they learn about all the harms of tobacco. The RAT® Pack has performed for thousands of Mississippi youth over the course of the campaign. Overwhelming demand for the show has led to the formation of five (5) RAT® Packs, who, even as you read this, are carrying their fun-filled, anti-tobacco message to children across Mississippi.