The dangers of smoking

By Staff
The Franklin County School System was recently awarded a major grant to assist in the prevention of tobacco use among children and teenagers through promoting youth advocacy and empowerment by prohibiting smoking in public places.
Education plays a key role in teaching our children the dangers of smoking and it's never too early to start the education process.
According the American Cancer Society (ACS), nearly all first-time use of tobacco occurs before high school graduation. So if adolescents don't start smoking by age 18, odds are they never will.
Smoking, in recent years, has dwindled in popularity by in large thanks to aggressive educational campaigns targeting our nation's youth. They are packaged and presented to the children on a level they can relate to and appreciate.
These campaigns fully outline the hazards of smoking and the repercussions that may follow them for the rest of their lives, since nearly one-third of all smokers are killed by a smoking related disease.
Education of the harmful effects of secondhand smoke was a major goal of the grant.
According to the 2006 report from the Surgeon General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, smoking is the single greatest avoidable cause of disease and death.
Furthermore, the fatalities liked to smoking aren't always linked to those who actually chose to light up. There are peripheral causalities.
According to recent studies, more than 50,000 people die every year from exposure to secondhand smoke.
Many cities and towns have begun to ban smoking on public property and many restaurants have done away with smoking sections.
Some states have boosted the cost of a pack of cigarettes further by raising taxes.
Still, some of the most effective anti-smoking campaigns are those aimed at children and adolescents. Take the "Truth" campaign for example.
The edgy commercials, started by the Florida Tobacco Pilot Program, shows teenagers speaking out about how they feel targeted by tobacco companies.
According to the ACS, the Florida campaign was the most visible part of a comprehensive tobacco control program, which helped prove that an all-encompassing approach was needed to reduce teen smoking.
It included in-school and after-school education at every grade level, programs to help teens quit smoking, enforcing the laws against shopkeepers selling tobacco to teens, and much more.
After four years, smoking rates among Florida middle school students dropped by 47-percent and there was a 30-percent decline among high school students.
The money allocated to the Franklin County School System is a wise investment in our future.

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