Thursday, October 01, 2009

Youth support “Take It Outside” an effort for no smoking inside homes and cars

(Youth from Life House, Inc held an awareness activity about secondhand smoke for the public along the Lakewalk in September. From left to right: Mary Allen with banner, Oscar Lopez - dressed as a cigarette, Timmy Smith gives the peace sign and Raven Perrin writes with chalk.)

By Margot Presley

Life House, Inc. youth took a stand against tobacco use with an awareness-raising activity around the dangers of secondhand smoke. The event was their response to tobacco companies’ disproportionate targeting of young people. The youth spread the message of “Take it Outside,” an initiative started by the American Lung Association. The campaign encourages people not to smoke in their homes or cars, which reduces the number of people they expose to secondhand smoke and the negative health effects that come along with it.

The young activists set up their exhibition on the shores of Lake Superior along the Lakewalk near Endion Station. It was a warm evening, and to get people’s attention they distributed bottles of water with messages about the environmental impact of cigarette butt litter and asked people to pledge their support for smoke-free homes and cars.

They then took turns tracing the outlines of 50 bodies, each one representing 10,000 deaths caused by secondhand smoke each year. The participants were hoping that people listen to the message and realize that smoking not only hurts their own bodies, but also the environment and everyone around them.

Life House, Inc. offers a variety of on-site programs and activities designed to stop the cycle of poverty and homelessness for