In Local News on March 5, 2009 at 9:02 am

I just returned from two days of training on how to intervene with teen smokers and how to help teens quit using tobacco when they are ready. I’d like to see some forms of these researched-based curriculums implemented in our schools and youth programs in both counties because they give excellent information and motivation to shun tobacco. The programs have a pretty good success rate with helping teens quit, reduce or rethink their tobacco use.

This is very important because teens who are addicted to tobacco can’t pay attention in class and get worse grades than teens who don’t. They also have more behavior problems. While schools are trying to improve test scores and leave no child behind, they need to work on fixing the issues that cause children to fall behind. One of those problems is tobacco use.

And teenagers are under fire from the tobacco companies. Ninety percent of smokers started smoking before the legal age of 18. The rate is similar for spit tobacco users. And these people who  use tobacco are having the quality of their lives decreased and the length of their lives cut short.

We’ve all heard the biblical proverb to love your neighbor as yourself. Loving another person in this way means in part helping them escape the dangerous and deadly addiction to tobacco, which for many is more powerful than addictions to alcohol, marijuana and cocaine.


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