The DHS teens spent the past year researching tobacco and its harmful effects, discovering data to support smokefree or tobacco free parks, conducting a survey, as well as gathering cigarette butts and other tobacco products while cleaning up parks. With support from DHS nurse Lorraine Daly, liaison to the group, DHS Reality students also participated in the Great American Smokeout encouraging their fellow peers to sign pledges to quit smoking for the day or to never start; while passing out lifesavers with the saying “Save a life, starting with your own.”
During the DeKalb Park District Board Study Session, the teens presented their findings and recommendations to the board. Maria Marungo, recently graduated senior, addressed the harmful secondhand smoke effects, including expense costs of litter in the parks because of cigarette butts and other tobacco containers. Erick Salazar, also a recent graduated senior from DeKalb High School, spoke about the cigarette butt clean up at Katz Park. All of the teens who participated in the first DeKalb Reality Illinois group have shown dedication and advocacy efforts towards smokefree and tobacco free parks in their community.
If you are looking for help to quit smoking, call the Illinois Tobacco Quitline for free. Convenient, and confidential counseling throughout the quitting process and nicotine replacement therapy is free to those who qualify. For more information on quitting, call the Illinois Tobacco Quitline at 1-866-QUIT-YES (1-866-784-8937)
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