By Trenace Jones
The Council on Alcohol and Drugs Houston
HOUSTON- BC Elmore Middle School’s student group, Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) joined statewide efforts in Texas by taking a stand for health recently in recognition of Tobacco-Free Kids Day.
SWAT members became prevention specialists for the day as they presented experiments to demonstrate the deleterious effects of cigarette smoke and hazards of second hand smoke to all students attending the Tobacco Free Kids Day Block Party.
Most of the information presented to the middle school is what was learned earlier this year from their Drug Prevention Classes. SWAT members began with educating students about disturbing tobacco statistics. They went on to interact with students and teach them about the hazards of smoking, chewing tobacco, and secondhand smoke through hands-on activities.
After visiting the educational stations, students enjoyed food and entertainment from a DJ, BC Elmore’s band and dance team, and a variety of fun games and activities including, a basketball moonwalk, game truck, bounce house, rock wall, face painting, and ring toss. They were also able to win cool prizes like goldfish.
Tobacco-Free Kids Day is an awareness event to encourage students of all ages to live tobacco-free lifestyles and is sponsored by the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Council on Alcohol Drugs Houston, and is held in conjunction with Kick Butts Day, a national activity sponsored by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. The goal of the event is to encourage every student to make healthy choices by not using tobacco.
This year the focus SWAT took was how cigarette companies target minorities, their message and campaign was “The tobacco industry has targeted Black communities in its advertisements and promotional efforts for menthol cigarettes.”