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Fight To Stop Smoking Goes On

In the latest round, Scott County High School students participated in the Help Overcome Tobacco conference at the Thomas & King Conference Center at Georgetown College.

Thursday morning, over 200 students from 15 Kentucky schools listened to speakers from anti-tobacco companies, including Jennifer Hollifield, from the American Lung Association.

The reason for the conference was to encourage students to stay away from tobacco and teach others how to quit.

"We want to change the students' attitudes toward tobacco and to prevent second hand smoke," said Cyndi Steele, Bourbon County Health Department tobacco prevention specialist.

Ronne Nunley, the Tobacco Prevention Education Sites manager in Ashland, taught students about the health risks tobacco can cause and the danger of second-hand smoke.

Brandon Hurley, the H.O.T. conference planner and Franklin County Health Department Prevention Coordinator also spoke to students and wanted to get a special word out to them.

"The main purpose for this event, is to curate young people to change the use of tobacco, to help increase tobacco taxes and to learn that tobacco is not good for you," Hurley said.

This is the third annual meeting of the H.O.T. conference, which is split up between six Kentucky regions.

Every school was in groups to plan for a video, which included anything related to anti-tobacco use.

SCHS made a video commercial on reporters investigating people smoking in bathrooms at the high school, causing the bathrooms to look and smell awful.

"We're fed up with smoking in the bathrooms at the school and want to make a change, so that's what we're doing in the video," Alex Walters, an SCHS junior, said.

Some students were acting as reporters and others were people coming out of the bathroom. They were interviewing students outside the bathroom as they walked out and talked to them about smoking and why it was wrong.

Their news team was called, "H.O.T. Action News," where they noted that tobacco use kills 108,000 children a day and that 6,800 Kentucky kids will start smoking in 2007.

One student said that they have a plan to stop the smoking in school.

"We plan on getting a club together and raise money to get people from smoking in the bathrooms," said Mackenzie Hambrick, a SCHS junior.

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