I grew up in a smoking household. When I was in school, my book bag and school supplies reeked of cigarette smoke; I remember the heat of embarrassment any time I flipped the pages of my notebook and the stench filled the air around me. At the time, I only associated the smell with the belief that smoking was unclean, dirty. My stuff smelled like smoke = I was dirty. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized all the health hazards that come along with it.
I begged my parents to quit, decorating the house with “YOU CAN DO IT!” signs of encouragement. When that didn’t work, I dutifully researched the ways smoking “was gross,” and left printed pictures of blackened lungs by the breakfast dishes. “Would you like your morning coffee with a splash of reality?” I bet it was awesome raising me. Anyway, they both tried to quit a few different times, but it became increasingly clear they were no longer in control: their addictions were.
Fortunately, time and knowledge helped my parents finally kick the habit. I would also like to credit my expert badgering; I must’ve worn them down at some point, right?!
According to statistics, I “beat the odds” because a kid who grows up around smoking is more than twice as likely to pick up the habit. *pats self on back* Although the numbers are down, still way too many kids are falling prey to tobacco addiction, and it’s happening earlier and earlier. Used to be we’d learn about the perils of smoking in high school, maybe as juniors, but now anti-tobacco education is shared at the junior high level or earlier! Kids who are barely double digits in age are getting their hands on cigarettes or that gross chew stuff (seriously–ewww) and that is why education must start sooner rather than later.
The Right Decisions Right Now program wants to help make spreading that education as easy as possible. First and foremost, it starts at home. Moms and Dads: check out Right Decisions Right Now’s resources for posters, brochures, videos and more. The lessons are planned, the thinking is done for you–all you have to do is start the conversation with your kids.
Oh and hey teacher pals? The Right Decisions Right Now program provides FREE curriculum and interactive games for grades five through nine. There are even fantastic SMART Board activities (compatible with your SMART Boards!) that let students practice wise decision making when it comes to making healthy choices and being confronted with tobacco. The real-life scenarios prepare kiddos for experiences they’re likely to encounter.
What’s better than free, purposefully thought-out curriculum? WINNING STUFF. From now until June 30, 2017, you can win $500 to spend in your classrooms. Click HERE to enter the content and see details below:
Classroom contest is open to United States residents who are currently employed full- or part-time as an educator by an accredited public or private K-12 school in the United States.
Contest closes on June 30, 2017
4 randomly-drawn winners will each receive a $500 Staples gift card + a printed Cost of Smoking wall poster
I know this time of the year is crazy busy. We’ve all got full plates and we’re moving in a trillion different directions. But a conversation? One class period? That just may help a kid who is struggling with peer pressure make the right decision right now. See what I did there? Full circle. I’ll be here all week.
I’m fortunate to have worked with We Are Teachers on this post.