ST. CLOUD - The Minnesota Prevention Resource Center is holding it's 43rd Annual Prevention Program Sharing Conference in St. Cloud this weekend.

The conference is a way for people to get together to network, learn and connect with other prevention professionals.

Major talking points at the conference are finding ways to prevent underage drinking and the benefits of moving the legal age for purchasing tobacco to 21.

Lindsey Smith is the Project Director for the Minnesota Prevention Resource Center. She says moving the smoking age to 21 will help prevent more people from ever starting the habit.

"Raising the purchasing to 21 and why that is an effective stargey is that we are interested in keeping young people from starting and all the harms that come with that. It is very unlikely for an adult to start using."

 

While every community around that state has its own unique set of problems, Smith says there is a couple that stand-out as common problems around the state's youth.

"What is pretty persistent problem around the communities represented here is under-age drinking and also E-cigarette use."

 

Some believe e-cigarrettes are a healthier option in comparison to tobacco, but Smith says that if our standards are health, neither is a good option.

"We think a lot about what the standard is for health, and if that is really what we want is health neither product is really healthy for us."

 

The two-day event is full of insightful speakers, presentations and health experts from around the state.

The Minnesota Prevention Resource Center works in the state to reduce the impact of  drugs and alcohol.