Archive for Thursday, November 4, 2010

4-H aims to prevent tobacco use

November 4, 2010

Did you know that 16.9 percent of Kansas high school students smoke? This is close to the national rate of 20 percent. Did you know that 2,900 Kansas kids under the age of 18 become new daily smokers each year, and that this is a slight up-tick in a steady decline since the mid-1990s? Tobacco use prevention is one of the goals of 4-H Healthy Living.

Healthy living is just plain smart. That’s why it’s been a core belief of 4-H since the beginning. By supporting the physical, mental, and emotional health of our nation's youth, we help them lead healthy and productive lives into adulthood. Programs address such critical issues as childhood obesity, substance abuse, and physical safety.

Nov. 18 is the Great American Smokeout. If your club or youth group is interested in celebrating this day, there are two sources of information and campaign materials you can use. Check out the national Great American Smokeout campaign materials at: cancer.org/smokeout

You can also find out more about the toll of tobacco use in Kansas through the Kansas Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids at: www.kstask.org

Learn more about the 4-H Healthy Living mission through National 4-H Headquarters at national4-hheadquarters.gov/about/4h_health.htm.

If you have questions, contact your Kansas Healthy Living liaisons:

Pam Van Horn at pvanhorn@ksu.edu or Elaine Johannes at ejohanne@ksu.edu

The other two areas 4-H provides programs in are science and citizenship.

4-H Science programs reach more than 5 million youth with hands-on learning experiences to encourage young minds and help fill our nation’s shortage of young leaders proficient in science, engineering and technology. Our science programs tackle important national and global issues such as climate change, workforce development, and technological innovation.

4-H has always emphasized the importance of developing passionate, well-informed citizens who are involved in their communities and help to foster positive social change. Civic engagement helps young people understand the big picture and learn skills that will encourage them to become engaged, responsible citizens and successful leaders. With 4-H citizenship programs, youth learn how to lead, make decisions, and contribute to their communities from an early age.

Brenda Taxeras is 4-H youth development coordinator for Leavenworth County through Kansas State University Research and Extension. She can be reached at (913) 364-5700 or btaxeras@ksu.edu.

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