The Anson County Health Department set up a morbid display of headstones and body bags with hopes of deterring children from picking up the habit of smoking.
The visual, which will be on display until March 30, was created for Kick Butts Day (March 21) to “help our children and our community realize the deadly consequences of tobacco use,” according to Health Educator Dinikia Savage.
On Kick Butts Day — established in 1996 by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids — schools, health advocates, and other organizations raise awareness of tobacco and the harm it causes with the goal of helping young people reject the use of tobacco products and encouraging others to stay tobacco free, she said.
The nonprofit Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids works with multiple organizations to promote, expose, strengthen, mobilize, power, and inform the public on the consequences of tobacco use and provides an activities guide for all organizations that desire to participate in Kick Butts Day, according to Savage.
The Health Department presented information to students at Anson Academy, Anson High School and Anson Early College who signed a “tobacco-free” banner to “take a stand against tobacco,” she said.
According to the Health Department:
• Tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable death in the United States and around the world.
• Cigarette smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths each year in the United States.
• Cigarette smoking increases risk for death from all causes in men and women.
• Cigarette smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals and more than 70 are linked to cancer.
• Cigars, smokeless tobacco, vapors, electronic-cigarettes, and hookah, all contain chemicals such as nicotine, just as cigarettes, making them unsafe for both children and adults.
• Smokers are more likely than nonsmokers to develop heart disease, stroke and lung cancer.
• Smoking causes about 90 percent of all lung cancer deaths. Since 1964, secondhand smoke has caused about 2.5 million deaths.
• Smoking can also affect a baby’s health before and after birth.
• Quitting smoking prevents several health related risks.
The Quitline smoking cessation hotline is available through the Health Department and worldwide. Individuals seeking assistance in their efforts to quit smoking can call anytime at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669). For more information about The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids or Kick Butts Day, visit their website at KickButtsDay.org.
For more information, contact Savage at 704-994-3342.