Mauro Medrano is a young and passionate tobacco control advocate who has been an active leader with the Tobacco Free Kansas Coalition and RESIST- Fighting the Influence of Big Tobacco, its youth-led tobacco prevention movement.

Hailing from Dodge City, KS, Medrano is “driven to make a big difference in rural America across the dusty trails and paved highways.” A graduate of the 2013 Youth Leadership Institute, Medrano has arranged youth-oriented tobacco awareness events in his home town.

Although Medrano’s commitment to tobacco advocacy was ignited from his passion to make a clean and safe environment for everyone, he also has a personal connection to tobacco. Many of Medrano’s friends chew tobacco and he wanted to be a part of the reason why they stopped. RESIST provided Medrano the opportunity to engage in activities that focused on tobacco prevention and cessation which he says directly impacts the personal health and wellness of individuals, the student body, community, and country. While he would be elated if tobacco was eliminated entirely, he acknowledges those financially invested in the tobacco industry would not let that happen. As a result of this fact, Mauro believes in the power of one and that he will make a difference in tobacco control for his generation.

He aspires to be just like his RESIST advisor, who in his words, “loves family, friends, healthy choices, community matters, and definitely tobacco prevention.” Often occupied with independent research on topics that include social media, tobacco control, environmental disparities and food inequities, he uses this knowledge to promote and organize programs for RESIST events.

“Working with the Tobacco Free Kansas Coalition helped develop me into the tobacco and environmental advocate I am today,” said Medrano. “I believe that youth are critical in advancing the tobacco control movement and I’m honored at the opportunity to work with Legacy – serving on the Board is truly an honor and I will do whatever it takes to help my generation move closer to one that is free of tobacco.”