Hundreds of teens across the state are trying to educate others about the dangers of smoking. Here in Bowling Green, students at Dishman McGinnis Elementary had some special visitors teaching them about the health risks of tobacco. Students at Dishman McGinnis took a pledge to be smoke-free.
Angie Slocum is a counselor at the school and organized the program. She says, "Them pledging to not smoke and to sign the wall, I think that made an impact on them."
Currently, 34-percent of Kentucky High School students smoke. Fifteen-percent of Middle Schoolers are lighting up. So the program's goal was to show kids how much more successful they can be if they don't start.
Slocum says, "Western athletes telling them they can't perform as well if they smoke, and Big Red was here and highly entertaining."
The school had contests and events all week teaching the kids about not smoking.
Stephanie Meador is one of the poster contest winners. She describes her poster, "This guy doesn't smoke, but this guy does. And his lungs are very bad."
She learned a lot from the pep rally. She says, "That smoking can hurt your lungs really bad, and you can cough. And you won't be able to do things you did when you didn't smoke."
And she says she is never going to be a smoker. "Because when I grow up, I don't want to have bad lungs like some people do," Meador says.
Altogether the event was a huge success.
Slocum says, "Our kids, I've really been hearing, I'm going to try to get my mom to stop smoking. I think they're going to be a positive influence to those around them after this week of activities."