On Wednesday, December 14th the Bay d’ Espoir CommunityYouth Network held an Anti-Smoking workshop with the Fun Club members. This session was facilitated by the Early Youth Intervention Worker, Christopher McDonald. The presentation involved grades 4,5 and 6.
Mr. McDonald spoke to the children about how the media and false advertising plays a major factor in teens choosing to try cigarettes and the repercussions of being a cigarette smoker.
There are many different side affects to your appearance and health as a result of smoking. Teens seem to be more abrasive when smoking or they feel like they are older and wiser when they smoke.Teens like to act as if they are someone special or dangerous and by smoking they can act on those feelings. Just because it is so forbidden it becomes more alluring to teens and the problem is that when they take that first puff, they can become addicted. The idea that they are breaking the law or going against their parents and schools is an addiction within itself. Kids like to get attention; it does not matter if it’s good attention or bad.
Nicotine is considered the number one entrance drug into other substance abuse problems. Research shows that teens between 13 and 17 years of age who smoke daily are more likely to use other drug substances. The use of other drugs is part of the peer pressure that our children have to face. The earlier that our youth begin using tobacco, the more likely they will continue using into adulthood.
Exposure to tobacco smoke, just occasional smoking or exposure to secondhandsmoke can cause immediate damage and poses serious risk of illness or death. That is the major conclusion done by doctors and more and more the target for tobacco products are children.
The youth enjoyed completing activities and designing their own anti-smoking logo and seemed to really understand the dangers involved.
The youth were informed that there are plenty of options and that, if you need to talk to someone, you can contact the smokers helpline at 1-800-363-5864.