Tobacco Free Madison Sponsors Down Home DaysApr 12th, 2011 | By Submitted | Category: Health
Tobacco Free Madison is sponsoring Down Home Days to promote tobacco-free lifestyles for Madison residents. Students Working Against Tobacco, SWAT, youth will be on hand to promote awareness of the issue of candy flavored tobacco. SWAT is a youth empowerment organization that teaches students planning and organizational skills as well as how to speak up and advocate a message. Tobacco prevention is the message. When students find out about the industry of Big Tobacco and how it has lied and manipulated society all in the name of Big Profits, they tend to call fowl. They ask, “If tobacco kills more people than most of the other causes combined then why is it even legal?”
The message that the program is promoting is that tobacco companies are manipulating the ingredients of many products to make them sweeter, more palatable with flavors like strawberry, grape, pina colada and chocolate chip cookie dough. They then package these products in brightly colored packages engineered to attract the attention of youth. Though legally not allowed to market towards youth, these marketing tactics appear to be aimed at none other. Big tobacco also alters the levels of some of the chemicals in these products to reduce the feeling of sickness that many get during their trial period starting a tobacco habit. So if the products taste “better,” are packaged more attractively and tend to not cause sickness, then youth are more likely to try them and initiate a tobacco habit that could last a lifetime, a lifetime that is statistically shorter than non-tobacco users. So that is why the tobacco program is sponsoring this event, to take advantage of an opportunity to get this message out to youth and parents. We want to reduce youth initiation of tobacco use in Madison County and therefore reduce the impacts of tobacco use in Madison County.
Sponsoring Down Home Days also gives Tobacco Free Madison the opportunity to promote free help that is available to help anyone quit a tobacco habit. Resources include the Quitline at 877 – U – CAN – NOW and Area Health Education Center’s Quit Smoking Now program which has classes at Madison County Health Department on Monday evenings at 5:30 pm. To register for the classes please contact Preston Mathews at (850) 728 – 5479.