We all would love to see a generation of non smokers. Most of us too are old enough to remember when smoking was glorified by actors in glamorous ways in commercials or in their movie roles and we know now too, that for a long long time, the dangers of smoking were downplayed and that today, one in every five deaths in America comes from a smoking related health issue. Here's the thing though, every day, people as young as 13 grab that first cigarette and get started.
Is it a way to fit in? Is it a stress reliever? Is it a way to rebel against "the man"? For whatever the reason, young people still pick up on it and the fight continues to try and get them to quit. They fight from every angle too. Tough talk, the photo's of lungs all blackened by tar, parents putting the clamps on it, peer groups trying their best to discourage it.... it continues on.
In Muskegon The Health Project part of Mercy Health works with the Knowsmoke Muskegon County Tobacco Reduction Coalition to get that message out anyway they can. One of the biggest events they hold annually is the Knowsmoke Zombie Walk in Downtown Muskegon. It's an event designed with youth in mind and to help them understand the dangers while providing a place that they can have some fun and get the facts about tobacco and the dangers of it. There is an entire website dedicated to it in fact you'll find that linked below!
Last year, there were a seris of videos done to help you get in the spirit of things. They are still some great advise and if you take a look at the Knowsmoke Muskegon Facebook page, you'll be able to see how to make a fun and affordable costume to participate in the walk this coming Saturday. You can click on the Knowsmoke Muskegon Link to the right to access the videos and while you're there, give their page a like.
One of the driving forces behind the Knowsmoke Zombie Walk in Muskegon has been Rachel McCoy from The Health Project at Mercy Health. We met up at Hackley Park to talk about the event, the cause and the reason that kids should be participating and learning about the dangers of early tobacco use. Take a listen to our chat below.
This is a free event and it's open to all young people. If you'd like to be a part of it, please, click on the image below to visit the Knowsmoke Eventbrite Page and get registered!
If you'd like to know more abou the Knowsmoke Muskegon Organization and mission, please, click on the image below for more details!