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Be Smart - Don’t Start Anti-Tobacco Day teaches Oklahomans about the Dangers of Tobacco Use

May 15, 2018

On Thursday, May 10, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma (BCBSOK) presented Be Smart-Don’t Start Anti-Tobacco Day at  Science Museum Oklahoma . Nearly 2,000 guests received free admission to the museum and more than 1,200 students from 15 schools attended, courtesy of BCBOSK.

Participating schools included:

  • Adams Elementary-Norman
  • Middleberg Public School-Blanchard
  • Britton Elementary-Oklahoma City
  • Midwest City Elementary-Mid-Del
  • Clinton West/ Remington Elementary-Tulsa
  • Mustang Elementary-Mustang
  • Coolidge Elementary-Oklahoma City
  • Pawnee Elementary-Pawnee
  • Del City Elementary-Del City
  • Stanley Hupfeld Academy-Oklahoma City
  • Holy Family Cathedral School-Tulsa
  • Sunset Elementary-Edmond
  • Houchin Elementary-Moore
  • Trout Elementary-Ponca City
  • Martin Luther King Elementary-Oklahoma City

To help educate school-aged children about the dangers of tobacco use, BCBSOK initiated the Be Smart-Don’t Start program in 2004, teaching thousands of Oklahoma youth how to live a healthy lifestyle and make smart choices.

The program also includes an anti-tobacco curriculum that is distributed to over 1,000 teachers in 680 schools through Newspapers in Education and published in The Oklahoman, impacting almost 200,000 students and over half a million Oklahoma citizens.

According to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, approximately 2,100 children under the age of 18 in Oklahoma will become new smokers each year, setting them up for serious health risks throughout their lives. The Be Smart-Don’t Start program uses fun hands-on, educational activities as a prevention tool to help address the rising issue.

“Tobacco use is a major health issue affecting the quality of life in Oklahoma,” said Ted Haynes, President of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma. “Educating our children and families can help to improve the health and well-being of Oklahomans today and in the future.”

Additional partners who participated included American Cancer Society , American Lung Association , Newspapers in Education , Oklahoma City Energy FC , Oklahoma State University , Science Museum Oklahoma and the University of Oklahoma . BCBSOK's Mobile Assistance Center was also on-site.

Photo Cutline: BCBSOK’s Blaze the Braggin’ Blue Dragon® with third and fourth grade students from Tulsa’s Holy Family Cathedral School at Be Smart-Don’t Start Anti-Tobacco Day on May 10.