Goshen Elementary wages

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 15, 2001

educational war on tobacco


Staff Writer

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Feb. 14, 2001 10 PM

GOSHEN ­ From now until the middle of March, each class at Goshen Elementary School will have had anti-tobacco education.

Liz Todd, Tobacco Prevention and Control Coordinator for the Pike County Health Department, has been using games and other methods to teach students the dangers of smoking and using other tobacco products.

Wednesday morning, GES second grade students played Tic Tac No Tobacco.

"Nobody loses because everyone wins knowledge," Todd said of playing the Tic Tac Toe-like game. "We’re playing this to win against tobacco."

During the game the class is divided into two teams ­ Xs and Os. They compete to answer questions regarding tobacco correctly in order to put an X or O on the board.

The game includes information about how much money is spent on tobacco products, diseases and health problems caused by tobacco use and destruction, such as fires caused by a lit cigarette.

Students in the higher grades take tobacco advertisements and counter attack what they state, with what they would tell the tobacco industry representatives.

One of the GES fourth graders wrote back telling a tobacco company it only wanted money and didn’t care that people were dying because of using their products. Others wrote about the inaccurate picture tobacco ads paint.

Todd said she has been surprised to learn how much children do know about tobacco products.

"It’s amazing how much, even the kindergarteners could tell me about tobacco because they’re exposed to it," Todd said of advertising.

She said the students "are in tune to" what tobacco companies are doing with millions of dollars spent on advertising to draw young people into using tobacco products.

The good news, Todd said, is "we’re seeing the age of initiation drop."

That fact is the result of more anti-tobacco education such as what is happening at Goshen Elementary School.

Todd hopes the lessons she’s teaching at Goshen Elementary help those students make the decision not to use tobacco and gives them the education to help encourage adults they may know who need to quit.