One student from Constantine wrote:
I am in the 5th grade at Constantine Elementary School. I want Alabama to be completely Drug-Free because if you walk into a house with cigarette smoke, it would be hard for kids and also adults who have bronchitis or asthma to breathe. I, myself, have bronchitis and it’s hard for me to breathe when I walk into a house full of smoke. And I wish that just buying these drugs were illegal. Please help us! Nicotine is a drug!
One student from Saks Middle School wrote:
I am a 6th grade student who lives in Anniston, AL. I want Alabama to be completely Smoke-Free because cigarettes contain nicotine which is very deadly. Many peole say that smoking “calms them” but 7,500 Alabamians die every year from smoking. My grandad died from smoking and I use to have asthma attacks around him, so give us FRESH AIR! Clean Air is what we want.
One student from Weaver wrote:
This is a 12-year-old 6th grade boy in Weaver, AL. I feel sick walking around my house because my parents smoke. I hate seeing my loved ones and others’ loved ones die. It breaks my heart seeing people smoke. Secondhand smoke is just as bad as firsthand smoke. So, all I’m wishing for is a Smoke-Free Alabama. I hate walking through clouds of smoke everywhere I go.
One student from Wellborn wrote:
I am in the sixth grade at Wellborn Elementary. I would like Alabama to be completely Smoke-Free because I want it to be a healthier state and because every month I have to pick up over 1,500 cigarette butts in my front yard. Also, when we are in the car, my parents start smoking and it started to get very hard to breathe. I start coughing. I don’t want to see the citizens of Alabama be this way! Please help!
Some students volunteered their time to write several postcards because they were so passionate about seeing a healthier, safer, smoke-free state.
More than 440,000 Americans die each year from tobacco-related illnesses and more than 7,500 come from Alabama each year. Tobacco is the single most preventable cause of death and disease in the United States.
Our Calhoun County youth recognize this, and they want Alabama adults, including legislators, to realize this fact as well.
According to the Surgeon General’s Report in 2006, there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke.
We cannot afford to let tobacco continue to addict our youth, damage the health of our citizens, and harm those who breathe secondhand smoke.
Stronger policies and laws are needed to protect citizens from secondhand smoke. Our Calhoun County youth urge decision-makers to consider these choices when planning for Alabama’s future. The majority of the postcards read, “help us!” at the end.