Health officials educate students on dangers of smoking

Published 12:19 pm Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Educators from the Clark County Health Department met with second-grade students at Justice Elementary last week to discuss the harmful effects of smoking on the human body.

The discussion was one of several events planned by the health department in connection with the Great American Smokeout Thursday. The goal of the Smokeout is to encourage people to quit smoking for one day, in addition to educating the community about the personal and environmental dangers of tobacco use.

Health department intern Mariah Winstead said educators spoke with three classes at Justice and showed them a video about smoking. They then took students outside for a more realistic presentation.

“We’ve got a Suzie Smoker Dummy that — when you light up a cigarette — collects the tar that would normally be collected in the lungs from one cigarette,” Winstead said.

She said the demonstration allows students to visualize — and smell — how one cigarette affects the human body.

The health department will have a table at the Kroger health fair Thursday to share additional information about quitting smoking.

The department is additionally giving posters out to schools in the district that have gone smoke-free.

Health Educator Carolyn Burtner said a goal of the health department is to make the entire district smoke free. However, in order to get the whole district to go smoke free, each of the site-based decision making councils for the schools must vote to go smoke free individually. Only after that can the decision be brought to the school board for a district-wide vote.

Contact Seth at seth.littrell@winchestersun.com.