All over the county students, parents and other community members in Anderson County are participating in Kick Butts Day this week to stand out, speak up and seize control against big tobacco. This Kick Butts Day comes after the largest drugstore chain in the country, CVS Caremark, announced its plan to stop selling cigarettes in their stores by October. Larry J. Merlo, chief executive of CVS said, “We came to the decision that cigarettes and providing health care just don’t go together in the same setting.” This is a huge step forward made by a large corporation, but individuals can make a difference too. Students all over the county are having the chance to write why they #ChooseNotToUse tobacco products. These banners will be displayed in middle and high schools this week. Some elementary school students will also be given the chance to write a short essay.
Parents have a big influence on the decisions children make. In a 2009 study, teens whose parents often talked to them about the dangers of smoking were half as likely to smoke as those who didn’t have these discussions with their parents. Each year nearly 4,000 students under 18 try smoking for the first time and 700 of those will go on to become daily smokers. If you talk, they will listen. Get help on the Tips for Parents page or from the American Lung Association and the Mayo Clinic. Another helpful blog with tips for parents can be found here. Teens can also go to the Tips for Teens page for help or find out more information and get tips to quit.
Other resources are also available in the community including the Freedom from Smoking® 8-part class series starting May 8th. Methodist Medical Center in Oak Ridge will host this class series developed by the American Lung Association. The classes will be held at the Methodist Medical Center Cardiopulmonary Rehab Classroom, Westmall Medical Park, 200 New York Avenue, Suite 360, Oak Ridge from 5:00pm to 6:00pmRegistration is required and you may do so by calling (865) 835-4662 or toll-free 1-800-468-6767. The cost of the classes is $50 which is refundable after completing all 8 classes. If you cannot make it to the classes in Oak Ridge there is also a Freedom from Smoking® online program you can start by going to www.ffsonline.org. Other information about quitting smoking can be found at www.lung.org.