Central magnet students aim to make a smoking impact

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Central Magnet HOSA students Makensie Vaughn, Cimrun Srivastava, and Garrett Burnett created campaign "Be Smart, Don't Start" to raise awareness on the negative effects of smoking.

They presented their campaign at their regional HOSA (Health Occupations Student of America) Competition and placed 4th, gaining them a spot in the state competition. They are now planning a big event involving the entire Murfreesboro community this time, rather than just their school, and would appreciate their community's support in furthering their campaign.

They are hosting a Zumba fundraiser to help raise money and awareness for their campaign. Zumba for Campaign "Be Smart, Don't Start" will be taught by certified Zumba instructors on Saturday, March 5th in the gym at Central Magnet from 2 to 4PM. Tickets are $10 at the door. There will be door prizes, snacks, and it will be tons of fun!

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The following is what they presented at their regional competition:

"Our group decided to create a campaign "Be Smart, Don't Start" to promote anti-smoking in our community, which is Central Magnet. Smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States,accounting for more than 480,000 deaths a year. Also, since 1964, approximately 2,500,000 nonsmokers have died from health problems caused by the exposure to secondhand smoke. There are many negative side effects of smoking, which include various diseases, heart conditions,and cancers. We wanted to inform our school of these side effects, so if a student is ever faced with the choice of smoking in life, they would choose not to.

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We did a variety of activities to promote anti-smoking including: selling t-shirts, having a pledge, taping our teacher to the wall, having dress up days, putting brochures in classes, and hanging anti-smoking signs around the school. The point of selling the t-shirts and taping our teacher to the wall was to raise money to donate to "Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids". We sold strips of duct tape for $1 each to put on our teacher, at the end of the time we were to see if she stuck to the wall just by the tape. We raised around $50 with the taping our teacher to the wall, and are still currently selling t-shirts at our school. While we were fundraising for "Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids", there was a large piece of paper used for people to pledge to be smoke-free, or "Be Smart, Don't Start". Each day in our fundraiser, there was specific dress up days. Thursday was red for heart disease, Friday was blue for COPD, Monday was white for lung cancer, and Tuesday was wear the ribbon you received from the t-shirt purchase. There was also posters we made that we put up around our school and brochures that we put in different classrooms.

Our accomplishments included raising money for "Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids" and having a pledge that many people signed to be smoke-free. Around 100 people signed to be smoke free in one day, and we still have the pledge up at our school for people to sign.

Our greatest impact was informing our school of the effects of smoking and persuading them not to smoke. An excess of 100 students signed a pledge promising to never smoke. This number is incredible at a relatively small school. With each pledge the pledges were signing for themselves, but they were also signing for those who could have been exposed to secondhand smoke. If the pledge is seen through, countless lives will possibly be saved. The campaign we had, set off a chain reaction for safety of all of those who can possibly be hurt by nicotine or cigarettes.

When we evaluated our work, we were able to see our successes and failures. One failure we had was lack of participation from the students in the dress up days at school. This was because our dress up days were close to Homecoming, so not that many people wanted to dress up for multiple days. However we did have successes such as raising money for "Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids" and informing our school of this health issue."

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Central, Central Magnet, Cimrun Srivastava, Garrett Burnett, Makensie Vaughn, Murfreesboro news, smoking, Zumba
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