The students at Adelante High School observed the Great American Smokeout on Friday, Nov. 17 to help bring awareness to the danger of tobacco and to encourage students to not smoke. PHAST (Protecting Health And Slamming Tobacco) club members along with the assistance from the Leadership class collaborated to bring the students and staff an informational yet entertaining event.
On the mic was emcee Kevin Gonzalez who is a senior and Leadership member that wanted to make sure that students were engaged and participated in the festivities.
“I felt pretty good being emcee,” said Gonzalez. “I wanted to make sure the event was fun and not just informational.”
The PHAST club members demonstrated what tobacco does to the human body by having one member reading a fact about tobacco and another student showing where it affects the body like the heart, mouth, and lungs by placing a target cutout on another student referred to as the test dummy. Some of the informational facts given were that tobacco targets the blood vessels, the throat, weakens bones, targets vision and the heart. They completed the demo by telling students not to be a target.
A student in the audience falls to the ground to make a scene so that it can be shared that he got a heart attack from an enlarged heart due to smoking as well as dropping more facts about the thousands of people that die due to lung cancer and secondhand smoke. PHAST club member and leadership participant Jose Martinez and other members distributed “Quit-Kits” to all the students and staff. Each item in the packet was specifically selected like the pen that was used to write goals on post it notes, a button to cause awareness, candy to prevent the urge to smoke, and a bookmark to mark the day you quit.
Students that correctly answered questions related to smoking were given a bonus kit that had a hacky sack in it.
The Fitness Test had the students cheering and involved. Three participants battled each other in the fitness challenge which included pushups, planks, and wall sits also known as Roman chairs.
“My participation today was to make it fun and not just informational,” said Martinez. “If you want to quit it is going to be tough but there are things that you can do out there.
“I think most of them (students) do try with the events that we have out here.”
The sounds of the ‘Eye of the Tiger’ playing in the background as students watched the fitness challenge set the tone.
“I learned how to help people quit tobacco and how to prevent them from using it,” added Mario Velasquez, senior and Leadership member. “I think the students learned some things because the event was fun.”
“I think it went very well today,” stated Adelante High School Principal Rebecca Evans. “I think the students by their participation, the response and the excitement of it, just the opportunity to share with kids the dangers of smoking and the students being so receptive of what the other students had to say, was great.”