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COL Students push good health

Stewartville anti-tobacco drive proves successful

Stewartville students are making their mark as agents of change in the health care field.

; They attend Stewartville High School and Middle School and are members of SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions). Their goal is to improve public health by persuading people to stop smoking or not to start.

They recently had a major success. They persuaded Kirk Boyum, owner of Boyum's Economart grocery, not to sell tobacco products when he opened his new store recently.

Joyce Stacy, adviser for SADD, said, "We're real proud of him" because he is helping people to make important lifestyle choices.

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Last Saturday, Boyum invited SADD members to give out information to his customers on the effects of smoking. They told people that diseases related to smoking kill 1,100 people every day and that each cigarette contains thousands of chemicals, including ammonia, DDT, cyanide, arsenic, butane and formaldehyde. They also showed customers a large jar half-fllled with tar and said an equal amount of tar would be introduced into a person's lungs as a result of smoking a pack of cigarettes per day for a year.

One shopper said the students' campaign is important because it can help young people avoid taking up the cigarette habit.

Students of middle school and high school age have abundant energy and have a great deal of influence on their peers. They often have more credibility with fellow students than adult advisers have.

For that reason, student efforts to encourage healthier living should be given all possible encouragement. The Stewartville SADD members have demonstrated that they can make a convincing case for stopping tobacco use, either by young people or by adults.

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