LECOM School of Pharmacy Bradenton students spread anti-tobacco message
Project is collaboration between LECOM Bradenton and Gulf Coast South Area Education Center

Forty-eight LECOM School of Pharmacy Bradenton students spread the anti-tobacco message to elementary and middle school students in Sarasota and Manatee counties on Nov. 17.

Fifth and sixth-graders cringed while watching videos on the harmful effects of tobacco use. LECOM Bradenton second-year pharmacy student Sara Elmunaier had students crumple up a piece of paper several times to demonstrate how smoking impacts one’s appearance.

LECOM School of Pharmacy Bradenton student Sabrina Shivji teaches sixth-graders at McIntosh Middle School about the dangers of tobacco use.

“Do you want to look like this?” she asked students at McIntosh Middle School in Sarasota, Fla. “Your skin will be all wrinkled, dry and worn out. Tobacco is unhealthy and can hurt your looks.

“Every day, 1,200 people die from tobacco use. It’s the number one cause of death.”

Students also learned about the harmful effects of smokeless tobacco, which is more addictive than cigarettes, and how tobacco companies use advertising to attract young people to their product.

“They (tobacco companies) get your money and you get sick,” said second-year pharmacy student Justin Read.

The anti-tobacco message was a collaborative effort between the Gulf Coast South Area Health Education Center (AHEC) and LECOM Bradenton. During the 2007-08 Florida Legislative sessions, the Florida AHEC Network was awarded funding to educate health profession students and health-care professionals on the dangers of tobacco and to develop cessation programs.

The AHEC Tobacco Training and Cessation (ATTAC) program was developed and implemented in collaboration with community and academic partners such as LECOM.

Pharmacy students also made presentations at Jessie P. Miller Elementary School in Bradenton and Sarasota Middle School.

November 18, 2008
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