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Monday is No Tobacco Day

By By LYDIA GRIMES Feature Reporter
Monday, May 31, 2004 was declared World No Tobacco Day for Brewton, East Brewton and Flomaton -- a part of the World Health Organization's program across the nation -- with mayors of all three communities signing a proclamation.
The event is to raise awareness about the dangers of tobacco use and to heighten concern about the depiction of tobacco use in the media as it heavily influences teen usage. The chief aim of this national campaign is to help empower young people to become informed to make the right decisions about smoking and chewing tobacco.
Following are some smoker-related statistics:
Not only are smokers in health danger but those who are non-smokers stand to lose from those who smoke around them. Secondhand smoke is associated with an increased risk for lung cancer and coronary heart disease in non-smoking adults.
Young children have lungs that are not fully developed. They are very susceptible to second-hand smoke. Exposure is associated with an increased risk for sudden death syndrome (SIDS), asthma, bronchitis and pneumonia in young children.
An estimated 3,000 lung cancer deaths and 35,000 coronary heart disease deaths occur annually among adult nonsmokers as a result of secondhand smoke.
Each year, secondhand smoke is associated with an estimated 8,000-26,000 new asthma cases in children. Annually an estimated 150,000 to 300,000 new cases of bronchitis and pneumonia in children less than 18 months.
Approximately 60 percent of people in the United States have biological evidence of secondhand smoke exposure.
Escambia County Schools recently received a $30,000 grant to teach the effects of smoking, both for smokers and those around them.
Ricky Elliott of the Escambia County Health Department stressed that education to the young is what is needed.
Representatives from local schools were in attendance at the presentation made Friday at the Escambia County Health Department and agreed that it is best to teach children from an early age to never start using tobacco.