Weatherly students observe Great American Smoke-Out
VICTOR IZZO/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Weatherly Area High School students who participated in last Thursday's Great American Smoke-Out program are, left to right : Brittney Isom, Kyle Harris, Audrey Graham, Rachel Moon, Josh Reiner, and Eric Schaeffer.
Every year on the third Thursday of November, the American Cancer Society (ACS) organizes the Great American Smoke-Out to raise the awareness of everyone to the hazards of smoking. According to the ACS, more Americans try to quit smoking on this day than any other day of the year, including New Year's Day.
As part of this exercise, many schools conduct programs on that day to educate students about the dangers of smoking and to encourage them not to start the habit if they haven't already done so. Different schools may have different programs to try get this point across to their students.
At Weatherly Area High School, students participated in a "Ghost Out" to help spread the message that tobacco use is deadly.
Just exactly what is a Ghost Out?
During a Ghost Out, students dressed and made up to look like the Grim Reaper visit classrooms in the school and remove several students from their class each period. While away from their classroom, each chosen student's epitaph is read over the school's intercom describing how the student died from the negative effects of tobacco use.
They are then returned to their classroom by the Grim Reaper wearing a white face with a black tear drop. The student is then to remain silent for the rest of the day.
The students who actually participated in the activities are all members of a student group at Weatherly Area High School called "TATU" which stands for Teens Against Tobacco Use.
The TATU advisor is school nurse, Rebekah McFadden who was also the event coordinator for the day's program.
The message to everyone, both young and old alike, from the Great American Smoke-Out is "if you smoke QUIT! and if you're not already a smoker DON'T START!" Abiding by those simple rules could save your life.