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My Reason to Write

The My Reason to Write project is one of Stamp Out Smoking’s youth and community activities. Designed to engage Arkansas students in tobacco prevention and cessation efforts and reduce the state’s youth smoking rates, the activity is open to public and private schools in all 75 counties. Participants in grades 2 – 8 may submit their entries through mail, email or through the website. Entries are judged in respective categories and are awarded prizes. The ultimate goal is to educate youth about the dangerous health effects of tobacco and nicotine products; reveal the tobacco industry’s marketing tactics and efforts to target youth; and inspire other students with youth-driven tobacco prevention and cessation messaging.

1 Children's Way | Slot 669 | Little Rock, Arkansas 72202 taylorlb@archildrens.org

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Congratulations To This Year’s Winners!

The Project Prevent Youth Coalition would like to congratulate the 2019 My Reason to Write – How I See a Healthy Me winners!

Below is the list of winners from grades 2-8.

Grade 2-5 Lyrics/Poetry

First Place
Victoria E. Nelms
Batesville, Independence County
Second Place
Tesli Johnson
Bergman, Boone County
Third Place
Molly Lucy
Batesville, Independence County

Grades 2-5 Essay

First Place
Haven Hoppis
Conway, Faulkner County
Second Place
Sophia Lowe
Conway, Faulkner County
Third Place
Sophia Rose Bolin
Jonesboro, Craighead County

Grades 6-8 Essay

First Place
Gracie Dewitt
Wynne, Cross County
Second Place
Lydia Russell
Green Forest, Carroll County
Third Place
Megan McCormick
Harrison, Boone County

Grades 6-8 Lyrics/Poetry

First Place
Jada DeWitt
Wynne, Cross County
Second Place
Autumn Murray
El Dorado, Union County
Third Place
Kenslee Roberson
Harrison, Boone County

You could win Awards!

Students
Grades 2-5

First Place
Chromebook
Second Place
Samsung Galaxy 7" Nook & $50 Barnes & Noble Gift Card
Third Place
Beats EP Headphones

Students
Grades 6-8

First Place
Chromebook
Second Place
Samsung Galaxy 7" Nook & $50 Barnes & Noble Gift Card
Third Place
Beats EP Headphones

Tips For...
Counselors & Teachers

Teaching Tips for Talking to Youth About Living Tobacco-Free

Tobacco remains the leading preventable cause of death in the U.S. — if smoking continues at the current rate, 5.6 million children alive today will die prematurely of tobacco-related illness. Most smokers first tried smoking before the age of 18. In 2017, about 3.6 Million U.S. middle and high school students were using tobacco products, and about half were using two or more products. 

Living tobacco-free reduces a person’s risk of developing heart disease, various cancers, chronic pulmonary disease, periodontal disease, asthma, and other diseases and of dying prematurely. Tobacco-free living means avoiding use of all types of tobacco products — such as cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, pipes, and hookahs — and also living free from secondhand-smoke exposure.

Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, are increasing in popularity among youth. The look of e-cigarettes is changing, with some looking like regular cigarettes, cigars, or pipes, and some looking like USB flash drives, pens and other everyday items. While the appearance of e-cigs continues to evolve, the aerosol they deliver remains harmful. E-cigs deliver nicotine, often in extremely high doses. Nicotine is highly addictive and can harm adolescent brain development. This aerosol also contains flavorings that can contain diacetyl, a chemical linked to serious lung disease, as well as other harmful ingredients.

Youth and young adults are more vulnerable to social and environmental influences to use tobacco. The tobacco industry spends $26 million per day marketing their products — often using advertising and promotion that show tobacco use as a normal activity among young people. E-cigarette companies also use marketing tactics to target youth through paid promotion on social media, sponsorship of music festivals and events, and the promotion of flavorings like cotton candy and gummy bear.

YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE BY CREATING AN ESSAY OR POEM/SONG LYRICS ENCOURAGING YOUTH TO LIVE TOBACCO-FREE.

  • Know the truth. Despite all the tobacco use on TV and in movies, video games, apps, and magazines, most teens, adults, and physically active individuals DO NOT use tobacco. 
  • Make friends, participate in physical activity, be independent, and in general, get involved in extracurricular activities. You don’t need tobacco or nicotine products to be cool or have a good time. 
  • Don’t waste money. Tobacco is expensive. Spend it on video games, clothes, movies, donate to your favorite charity, or buy a new phone.
  • Get involved: make your team, school, and home tobacco and nicotine free; learn about tobacco- and nicotine-free policies; inspire others to join efforts to prevent tobacco and nicotine use. 

Tips For...
Parents

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