Area students join ‘Smokeout’ effortADRIAN — Did you know there are 15 tobacco-related deaths in Minnesota each day? Or that nearly all the body’s organs are affected by smoking? Those were a few of the trivia displayed Thursday at Adrian High School to educate students about the dangers of tobacco use.
By: Laura Grevas, Worthington Daily Globe
ADRIAN — Did you know there are 15 tobacco-related deaths in Minnesota each day? Or that nearly all the body’s organs are affected by smoking?
Those were a few of the trivia displayed Thursday at Adrian High School to educate students about the dangers of tobacco use.
“Right now they’re not smoking so it’s not like they need to learn to stop … they know it’s not good for them and they know they shouldn’t start. Or maybe some of them will go home and tell their parents that ‘hey, maybe today you can stop smoking,’” said Carmen Wieneke, one of six Adrian High School seniors involved in Partners in Prevention (PIP). The group began at AHS in 2001 to warn students against the dangers of drugs and alcohol.
Students from other area schools also joined the nationwide effort, educating their peers during Thursday’s Great American Smokeout.
The PIP members set up a “Wheel of Fortune” style wheel of questions about tobacco use and gave candy to students who knew the right answers.
“We’re just trying to show the students how damaging tobacco can be both to their health, and financially, too,” said PIP member Justin Feit. “It’s a lot more than people expect.”
“We also have a tar jar,” added Kelsey Altman. “The amount of tar in there is the amount of tar that builds in the lungs of someone who smokes one pack every day for a year. And it’s a good size jar and there’s quite a bit in it. … It’s really gross.”
Krissi Thier, of Nobles-Rock Community Health Services, said each participating school planned its own activities, with students in Ellsworth and Round Lake also commemorating the event.
“It gives peer awareness … (students) know better than anyone how to reach students their own age. It’s really helpful,” Thier explained.
The smokeout, first celebrated in 1974 as D-Day (Don’t Smoke Day) in Minnesota, was also observed by 16 tobacco retailers in Cottonwood, Jackson and Redwood counties on Thursday. Businesses in Jackson, Windom, Lakefield and other communities blacked out tobacco advertisements in their stores to raise awareness of tobacco marketing strategies.
“While it may seem harmless, research has demonstrated that in-store tobacco advertising is particularly effective in influencing youth tobacco usage,” said Susan Vileta, program coordinator for CJR-Start Noticing at Cottonwood Jackson Community Health Services.
“By covering all advertisements for one day, we believe members of this community will start noticing the efforts taken by tobacco companies to reach current and potential smokers.”