Do you know why smoking causes wrinkles? Or the number of chemicals in a cigarette? These are just a few facts TUPE Peer Educators shared on Kick Butts Day.
Our kids learn so much from each other. Sometimes this is a good thing (and sometimes it’s not!) When the message is positive, peer-to-peer education is highly effective.
On March 15, Nevada County middle and high schools participated in Kick Butts Day, a nation-wide anti-tobacco campaign. In preparation for the big day students trained as Tobacco Peer Educators and then planned activities to teach about the health risks of tobacco, vaping and marijuana. The students were creative, inspiring and enthusiastic in their mission.
Across our county, high school students signed anti-tobacco pledges. Students as young as kindergarten wanted to join the cause. From worrying about the health risks and marketing strategies of big tobacco companies to the impact on our environment, students embraced the event and educated each other. It was so exciting to feel the energy at each school and to witness so many students focusing on the same mission.
I encourage you to check in with your son or daughter and ask them what they liked most about Kick Butts Day on their campus.
Did they learn anything new? Was anything surprising?
Fast Facts about Tobacco:
• 9 out of 10 smokers begin before age 18.
• Flavorings in e-cigarettes and tobacco products appeal to young people.
• 73% of high school students and 56% of middle school students who used tobacco products in the past 30 days reported using a flavored tobacco product during that time.
• Cigarette smoking is declining among US teens.
• Vaping and E-Cigarette usage is increasing among US Teens.
• Most e-cigs contain nicotine. Even those that don’t, contain a long list of toxic chemicals.
• Nicotine is highly addictive. The average smoker tries to quit 30 times before they are successful.
• Smoking causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
• 480,000 people die each year in the US from smoking related illnesses.
• The best way to avoid becoming addicted to nicotine is to never start.
• Tobacco companies spend 9 billion dollars a year in order to find replacement smokers.
The best way to protect our kids from using tobacco products is to educate them on the risks and encourage them to never start. Peer-to-peer education is a highly effective way to do this.
As we continue to grow our TUPE program, students will have a chance to participate in more anti-tobacco events and share their knowledge.