YMCA Healthy Kids Day Fair

In Local News on March 23, 2009 at 9:14 am

The Daviess County TPC coalition had a booth at the YMCA Healthy Kids Day Fair in Washington on Saturday. We had a roulette wheel that kids could spin and answer a question about how tobacco harms the body. We also had displays about the health effects of smoking and chewing tobacco. Several people were interested to learn about the Indiana Tobacco Quit Line (1-800-QUIT-NOW) and took palm cards and fliers to give to their friends and loved ones.

We had a really great turn-out, and I feel like the kids that came by the booth learned a lot about tobacco, especially about all the chemicals that are in tobacco smoke. I had a little poster up that listed the 4,000 ingredients in tobacco smoke, and many were surprised and grossed out to learn that things like toilet cleaner and nuclear waste are in tobacco smoke.

I was very disappointed, however, to see the parents and family of a couple young children sitting in their car in the Y parking lot smoking. The Y is a smoke-free campus, so first of all these people were breaking the Y’s policy. Second of all, they had young children in that car that had no choice but to breathe in that toxic smoke and see their mentors using tobacco. That makes tobacco use seem OK.

We need to change our culture of ambivalence toward tobacco. Tobacco use is not OK. Tobacco companies are killing almost half a million people a year, and allowing that to happen so they can make a profit is not OK. Nearly every person I’ve spoken to has a friend or family member who died from tobacco use, and nearly every child who attended Rick Stoddard’s presentations raised their hand saying they had a loved one die from tobacco use, or they are exposed to secondhand smoke and don’t like it.

Like Rick said, spinach killed three people, and you couldn’t buy spinach anywhere. But tobacco kills almost half a million people a year and we do nothing??? This is unacceptable!

  1. Smokeless tobacco use among high school males in some countries is higher in percentage nowadays. Hence encouraging tobacco prevention programs would reduce smoking ratio and save lives.

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