The Great American Smoke Out - 2010
The Sussex County Cancer Coalition Coordinator, Helen Homeijer, and the Center for Prevention and Counseling Tobacco Coordinator, Cindy Meakem, held a Tobacco Jeopardy event at Sussex County Community College (SCCC) to observe the Great American Smoke Out (GASO) on November 18, 2010. 2010 marked the 35th year of the GASO, started by The American Cancer Society to encourage individuals to give up smoking for a 24 hour period. The American Cancer Society hoped that this would prompt participants to quit for life!
Over one hundred SCCC students and faculty participated in the Tobacco Jeopardy event. Prizes of candy and bracelets, which stated "I'm Tobacco Free :-) ", and tobacco related information were given to all. Students were enthusiastic to learn the dangers of tobacco products, along with the ever changing tobacco laws. Currently, you must be 19 to buy tobacco products in NJ.
The Tobacco Jeopardy program required students to answer questions related to tobacco in a variety of areas including environment, statistics, health effects, trends and law. The program was scheduled by Heidi Gregg, the Associate Director of the Student Activities Department. Sussex County Community College hosted this event in their cafeteria during lunch to allow for a larger student attendance.
Many students had no idea that cigarettes contain over 4,000 cancer causing agents.
An after program evaluation showed that 53% of the students strongly agreed this event increased their knowledge of the dangers of tobacco. 59% strongly agreed that the Tobacco Jeopardy Program was informative and was a major learning experience for them. They were astonished by how many ingredients are actually found inside of one cigarette; most thought it was just tar and nicotine that caused dangerous side effects. Many students had no idea that cigarettes contain over 4,000 cancer causing agents. The clear message was that tobacco can have a deadly effect on their bodies. The dangers of second hand smoke were also addressed, stressing that 40% of non - smokers who live with a smoker (also known as second hand smoke), are at a higher risk for developing diseases.