Everyday in the US, 1200 people die  from tobacco use and many are effected by secondhand smoke. The local youth tobacco groups want to bring that number to zero.  So they worked hard to host events in their schools to get the truth out about tobacco.

Maquoketa Valley High School

MVTEL, the Youth Tobacco Prevention Group marked the lockers of the students with Crime Scene tape.   “The tape on the lockers represented the fact that for every eight smokers who die from their own smoking, they take one non-smoker with them,”  said Geri Buelow, Certified Prevention Specialist at Helping Services,  the group’s advisor.

Alaina Feltes, president of MVTEL said, “The caution tape was very effective.  Many people were curious about it, and before long, several students outside of TEL were explaining what the tape meant.  I think we got our message across.”

West Delaware High School

Teens Against Tobacco group used crime scene tape to outline bodies on the floor filled with facts about the effects of tobacco use.  Several high school basketball and wrestlers signed posters to say how tobacco products would affect their bodies if they used them, and why they do not use tobacco products.  The coaches kept these posters up after Tobacco Awareness Week was over.

EDCO High School

YODA (Youth Okay without Drugs and Alcohol) made four crime scenes to show the negative ways tobacco can affect anyone.  They also wrote a newspaper articles for the Edgewood Reminder.

All three youth groups hung posters listing deadly facts about tobacco products and made announcements at their school to explain their events.  They also hung Quitline posters to help those students and adults who want to quit.

[Quitline Iowa, a free phone counseling service, provides resources and help tobacco users create a quit plan.  They send free materials though the mail, covering topics such as dealing with cravings, and stress management.  Quitting smoking is hard, but research shows that a person who receives phone counseling while trying to quit is four times as likely to stay quit as someone who tries on their own. Quitline services are also available online and they will even send encouraging text messages.   You can call Quitline at 1 800 Quit now and get more information at www.quitlineiowa.org ]

These high school students are doing something about the local tobacco issues.  As an adult, you can be part of that too. The Delaware County Tobacco Free Partnership, open for anyone to be involved, meets every other month at the Coffee Den in Manchester.

Both groups want to help smokers who want to quit, encourage youth not to start, and protect everyone from secondhand smoke. If you want information please contact Geri Buelow at 563 582-5317 ext. 13 or visist www.helpingservices.org/getinvolved.

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