June 29, 2016
Montgomery, AL- The Montgomery Council on Substance Abuse- NCADD (COSA- NCADD) gave a presentation on Youth Tobacco Prevention at the Sheridan Heights Community Center. The presentation was targeted to 12 and 13 year old students in the Sheridan Heights Phoenix Summer Camp Program.
“The purpose of this presentation is to educate students on the dangers of tobacco and cigarette smoke” said Karen Wright, COSA Behavioral Health Prevention Specialist and Tobacco Coordinator. “We want to reach as many kids as possible so that they can make healthy decisions.”
Students learned about some of the different chemicals found in cigarettes and how they are harmful to the body. There are over 7,000 chemicals found in cigarettes. Some contents of a cigarette include carbon monoxide and lighter fluid.
Students also learned how smoking can affect their health. Smoking causes bad breath and yellow teeth. Smoking also damages organs and puts on at risk for cancer.
Second hand smoke is also dangerous. Students learned that second hand smoke causes lung problems, ear and eye infections, coughs and colds, and severe asthma attacks.
The presentation also focused on the different types of tobacco and its uses. Students were able to understand that the packaging of tobacco is disguised to look like chewing gum, candy, and mints. Students were also able to understand that electronic cigarettes (E- Cigs) are not safe alternatives for tobacco.
“The information given is very beneficial” said Sheridan Community Center Director Yvonne Cumberland. “These children had no idea how damaging smoking can be. This information opens up their eyes.”
In Alabama, statistics show that smoking almost always starts during teen years. 90% of adult smokers are addicted before they reach the age of 18. The current age of initiation to tobacco is 11. In addition, 10% of high school students use electronic cigarettes.
The Council on Substance Abuse (COSA-NCADD) is a private non-profit organization founded in 1973. The mission of COSA-NCADD is to reduce the incidence and prevalence of the disease of alcoholism, other drug addiction diseases, and related problems. For more information visit www.cosancadd.org