Second grade students throughout Warren County are learning about the dangers of smoking through a local program spearheaded by the Coalition for Healthy & Safe Communities and the Family Guidance Center.
The program coincides with this year’s Great American Smoke Out, scheduled for Thursday Nov. 16.
The students were educated on smoking dangers through a book, The Uninvited Guest. This book includes strategies for protecting your child and family about the dangers of secondhand smoke. The books were provided by the New Jersey Prevention Network and distributed by the Family Guidance Center through their community coalitions.
“We now have to educate our children about e-cigarettes, hookahs, vape pens but we cannot forget to educate them on where it started … with tobacco products,” said Diane Bonelli, Project Director. “Providing these books to second graders will start the conversation about the dangers of smoking which includes all tobacco and nicotine products.”
While smoking among youth is declining, use and experimentation with e-cigarettes and vaping is rising. About 36.5 million Americans still smoke cigarettes, and tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the world. While cigarette smoking rates have dropped (from 42% in 1965 to 15.1% in 2015), cigar, pipe, and hookah – other dangerous and addictive ways to smoke tobacco – are very much on the rise. Smoking kills people – there’s no “safe” way to smoke tobacco.
Every year, on the third Thursday of November, smokers across the nation take part in the American Cancer Society Great American Smoke Out event.
Folks are encouraged to reach out to someone you know to use the date to make a plan to quit, or plan in advance and then quit smoking that day. By quitting – even for 1 day – smokers will be taking an important step toward a healthier life and reducing their cancer risk.
For more information on the Great American Smoke Out – https://www.cancer.org/healthy/stay-away-from-tobacco/great-american-smokeout.