Now it's your turn to become part of the movement against tobacco! Here are 9 ways you can help to make your world smoke-free:
Be In The Know About Saying No!
- Create A Cool School!
Like Justin and Eric in North Dakota, you can make your school smoke-free.
Take a petition door-to-door for people to sign. Then take the petition to a
school board meeting and present it to school officials.
- Strike 3, Smoking's Out!
As we've seen, cigarette companies try to link tobacco with athletics.
You can show that smoking and sports don't mix by writing a letter to the
owners of your local sports teams, asking them to make the stadium free
of tobacco ads. Many pro teams are already taking action---like the
Baltimore Orioles, Colorado Rockies, Seattle Seahawks, Houston Rockets, and Minnesota Vikings. These teams don't allow any tobacco advertising in their stadiums.
- Butt Out!
Write a letter to your favorite restaurant, asking them to go completely smoke-free. (Having a separate nonsmoking section does not eliminate your exposure to secondhand smoke. Just like you can't put chlorine in half of a swimming pool, you can't keep smoke in half of a room.) Tell them that when the air in their restaurant is clean, their food will taste better---and that you'll come back and bring your friends!
- Shop Around!
Try this project: In Lincolnwood, Illinois, students took a survey of local businesses. Then they used the school newspaper to encourage kids to shop at stores that didn't sell cigarettes.
- Make A Pledge!
Promise you'll never, ever smoke. In Minnesota, kids called Body Guards get members of their families (and other people in the community) to sign a pledge saying they'll be tobacco-free. Of course the kids sign the pledge too!
- Stick 'Em Up!
Paint posters to encourage younger kids not to smoke. With your teacher's permission, plaster them all over your classroom, library, or cafeteria.
- Block That Slot!
Kids who are too young to buy cigarettes from a store often turn to vending machines. It's illegal, but usually they get away with it. So talk to your town board or city council about banning vending machines in your area. Many towns are already doing it---and in places like Perth Amboy, New Jersey, it's kids who are leading the way.
- Stop The Preses!
Send a letter to your local newspaper---the more people that know about the dangers of smoking, the better. After his mom died of lung cancer, Wiley Seigler of New Mexico wrote the Albuquerque Journal. Surely everyone who read Wiley's sad letter thought twice before lighting up a cigarette.
If you already smoke, quit! Here are some people who can help you---or a friend---kick the habit. Call for more information---or ask how you can volunteer.
American Lung Association
American Heart Association
American Cancer Society
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Office on Smoking and Health
Information courtesy of US Centers For Disease Control (CDC)
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