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TNT Project Toward No Tobacco

Posted 2/24/2009

Tobacco use is the primary cause of preventable death in the United States. It accounts for more than 440,000 deaths per year- more than alcohol, cocaine, crack, heroin, homicide, suicide, car crashes, fire and HIV/AIDS combined. At least 2, 000 U.S. children and adolescents begin tobacco use each day. Of these, nearly 500 will die in adulthood from tobacco-related diseases, primary heart disease and atherosclerosis, cancers and chronic obstructive lung diseases.

Prevention of tobacco use among teens is not a casual business or fruitless endeavor----we can prevent deaths from occurring. Project Towards No Tobacco Use (Project TNT) is a prevention program that works.

Mandy Quintero the Mineral County Cooperative Extension’s Tobacco Prevention Coordinator has been providing commercial tobacco prevention classes using Project Towards No Tobacco Use and giving out information in regards to tobacco use and its health risks within the Mineral County Schools since November 2008. Classes and information has been offered to (2) Health Classes at the High School, 6th- 8th Grades at the Junior High, and 5th Grade at the Elementary school of Hawthorne. Mandy has also provided prevention classes and information to the 4th — 8th Grades at the Schurz Elementary.

The program started with pre-testing students on their knowledge of commercial tobacco products and the health risks associated with using them. In Project TNT, students learn: active listening skills, stages of addiction and disease, ways to build self-esteem, effective communication skills, general assertiveness, how to practice assertive refusals, ways to counteract media portrayals of tobacco use. Students have already participated in role playing, worksheets and group discussions. Classes will end the last week in January 2009, with a post-test to be administered to evaluate retention of information provided.

Mandy hopes that classes and information provided will boost student’s knowledge and self-esteem so that they will be able to make educated and healthy choices for themselves and those around them.

You can reach Mandy at 945-3444 ext. 13 should you have any questions. Thank you!!

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