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RMS students learn about tobacco prevention

Russellville Middle School Family and Consumer Science students have been learning about drug, alcohol and tobacco prevention through the Health Rocks Program hosted by Extension Agent Apriell Burgess. Recently they focused on tobacco and smoking with the Take a Deep Breath challenge.

“This activity will provide clarity to students and make them aware of the serious short- and long-term consequences of tobacco use,” said teacher Rachel Agee.

In the experiment, students breathed through a variety of straws of different sizes to experience the difference between proper breathing and breathing that is affected by prolonged use of tobacco products.

“During the experiment, the students will come to the conclusion that they do not want to limit their ability to breathe,” Agee said.

They began the program with learning about the cycle of addiction and what dangerous products are in cigarettes and other tobacco products. “The students were shocked what all was in tobacco products,” Agee said.

They learned how smoking can negatively affect a person’s health inside and out and also affect finances.

“As students experience the Health Rocks program, they are influenced by the visuals and information. They do not think it is worth the risk to engage in those bad habits,” Burgess said.

Burgess said the program’s goal is to promote good decision-making and get students to realize they are the cause of their effects.

“Having access to the Health Rocks program is so beneficial to our school. We want students to be able to make informed choices and make decisions that will have a positive impact on their health,” Agee said.

This is just one of many programs the Extension service offers to local schools.