May 15th – 24th is National Prevention Week
By Amy Alston, Prevention Specialist:
I would like to share a story with you. My mother and father were both smokers. At the age of 30 my mother died from a massive stroke. She had been smoking from the age of 12 and she knew she needed to quit. At the time, they did not have all the resources to help you quit smoking like they do today and she didn’t have the will power to quit on her own. So the doctors felt that as a result of her continued smoking that is what caused her stroke. When she died I was seven years old. How I wish to have had my mother growing up. My father died at the age of 54, again a smoker at an early age. He had some health issues that he was battling but was told by his doctor that he needed to stop smoking. My dad didn’t follow his doctor’s instructions. So we lost him due to a massive heart attack. I shared this story because my parents could still be with us today had they made healthier choices. The thing that attributed to their death could have easily been prevented. Tobacco is one of the most deadly legal drugs that can be prevented.
As a Youth Prevention Specialist my job is to teach elementary age kids a curriculum on Life Skills. Within this curriculum, is a session on Tobacco. This session is in there because it is known that kids that smoke at an early age are more likely to be addictive to cigarette smoking by the time they become of legal age (18) to purchase cigarettes. I try to instill in the youth that I come in contact with the health risk that are associated with smoking and also making them aware of second hand smoke so that they will make healthy choices as they get older and are exposed to more things. With this being National Prevention Week, I would like to share with you a couple of links that will give you information on the health risk of smoking and second hand smoke. Please click on the links below and share them with someone you know or love. We have the resources today to help us make healthy choices. How will you choose?