Spring Fling: Anti-smoking campaign mixed with fun and games

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 31, 2005

Did you know that smokers are admitted to hospitals twice as often as nonsmokers? That smoking can decrease life expectancy by between 15 and 25 years? That when young athletes smoke, it can hurt their still-developing lungs and reduce the amount of oxygen available to their muscles when they’re out on the basketball court or football field.

If you’re a girl that smokes, better get ready for some extra grooming; you’re seven times more likely to grow facial hair. On second thought, maybe not – smoking can lead to diseases that cause one’s hair to fall out. And it might just cost you even more than that, because it makes you 16 times more likely to have blocked blood vessels in your leg, which leads easily to gangrene, and on to amputation.

Come to think of it, as the ydoyouthink.com anti-smoking organization’s Web site asks, can anyone think of a reason why smoking ISN’T stupid?

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That’s the message that ydoyouthink.com and the Boys and Girls Club of Southeastern Virginia joined together to bring to several local children at the Tween/Teen Spring Fling event at John F. Kennedy Middle School on Wednesday afternoon. Dozens of local kids showed up to chow down and have fun.

The event started off with a quick meal of cheeseburgers, hot dogs and chips. Between bites, kids played impromptu games of tug-of-war in the school parking lot, and later a bit of soccer and kickball. Inside the gymnasium, a three-on-three basketball tournament hit the courts. Later on that afternoon, D.J. Jump Off showed up to blast music through the air.