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Anti-smoking strategy targets fourth-graders, parents in rural and urban Georgia
Date:11/12/2007

e says, noting the courses offered through the grant would be an easy permanent fit since they meet 70 percent of mandated state health education requirements. Dr. Tingen, a certified Life Skills trainer, will teach health teachers, school nurses and counselors to lead the programs. Children will start taking classes in January.

Tobacco has been and still is the number-one cause of premature death and disability, Dr. Tingen says. Its directly linked to many cancers, not just the lungs, but also the jaw, the stomach, the bladder, as well as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and stroke. As long as nicotine is in the body, its doing damage, she says. Thats in addition to the other 4,000 chemicals in cigarettes that you are huffing and puffing on or that you are exposed to.

Whites tend to metabolize and excrete nicotine more quickly than blacks, resulting in more adverse effects in blacks, according to her previous studies looking at four genes that metabolize nicotine. Smoking rates among all Georgia students have increased since 1991, with black students experiencing the highest increase at 80 percent. Black youths also tend to have high exposure rates to second-hand smoke, MCG researchers say.

Every child at some point in his/her life, is given the opportunity to start smoking, Dr. Tingen says. Study after study has been done on kids in the ninth and 10th grades, asking if they could quit and they all say they could easily quit before graduation if they want. But you go back and survey them and they cant quit. Quitting smoking is incredibly difficult; the average person tries five times before they are successful. Our goal is that children never start and that parents role model this expectation.


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Contact: Toni Baker
tbaker@mcg.edu
706-721-4421
Medical College of Georgia  
Source:Eurekalert

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Anti-smoking strategy targets fourth-graders, parents in rural and urban Georgia
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