Members of the Macon County TRU Clubs at MVI, MMS and FHS are thanking their mothers for keeping them from smoking, and for protecting them from secondhand smoke.
For many youth, Mother’s Day means taking mom out to breakfast, giving her a gift, or just saying thanks. This year some NC youth are celebrating by pledging to give moms who currently smoke the kind of loving support, encouragement and information that could help them to be tobacco- free by Mother’s Day next year.
Tobacco use among women remains a serious problem; nearly one in five women in the U.S. currently smokes. An estimated 173,940 women die each year from smoking, and 7,600 of them are from North Carolina. According to the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, 86,000 U.S. kids have already lost their moms to smoking.
Macon County TRU Clubs are part of the TRU (Tobacco. Reality. Unfiltered) movement, a teen tobacco prevention effort funded by the NC Health and Wellness Trust Fund (HWTF). This youth tobacco prevention and cessation initiative includes grants to community organizations, including the grant to Macon County Public Health and the TRU media campaign.
There are steps any parent can take to raise tobacco-free children and to protect them from secondhand smoke:
• If you smoke, quit smoking – or at least keep trying. Call QuitlineNC at 1- 800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669), North Carolina’s free quitline, proven to increase the chance of quitting.
• Talk to your children about the dangers of smoking – including addiction and how hard it is to quit. Emphasize the immediate health effects and the impact of smoking on physical appearance. Point out some serious health consequences (such as cancer and heart disease); and if they are teens, visit the TRU website (www.realityunfiltered.com) and show them ads featuring real North Carolinians who have experienced some of these serious health effects.
• Keep a totally smoke-free home and smoke-free car (even if you smoke).
• Avoid taking your child to, or leaving your child in, a smoky environment. Ask others not to smoke around your child, even outdoors.
TRU groups also want to raise awareness that lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths among women, and smoking accounts for 90 percent of these deaths. Smoking also accounts for one of every five deaths from heart disease, the number one cause of death among women.