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Paoli High School

501 Elm St.
Paoli, IN 47454
(812) 723-3905

Take Back Tobacco Winners Announced

Project Brings Awareness to Dangers of Tobacco
Courtesy of Emme Moore
Mrs. Harkness’s homeroom pose by their door after winning the Take Back Tabaco contest.

The first week in April pitted homerooms and students against each other in a contest to help educate students about the dangers of tobacco and vaping.

Vaping and tobacco usage is so dangerous for youth for so many reasons.  Kids need to know that vaping and smoking are not harmless activities,” said School Nurse Emme Moore. 

Moore, along with Tonya Slone, Coordinator for the Take Back Tobacco Program, used this week to bring awareness to the dangers of vaping and smoking with two activities. 

“All body systems are affected by the chemicals in vapes and tobacco products, and for youth whose bodies and brains are still growing, that is exceptionally detrimental.  The ingredients in vapes are not regulated, which means that they have extremely high amounts of nicotine, are made from harsh chemicals, and may contain other deadly substances such as fentanyl,” said Moore.  

Sloan reached out to Moore about bringing activities to PHS to help bring awareness of the dangers these products can bring to everyone. 

“(Tonya) Slone reached out to me and asked if our school would like to participate in National Take Back Tobacco Day on April 1 this year.  I told her we would love to participate,” said Moore.

Moore and Sloan pitched ideas to the students, the door decorating contest, and the Kahoot! Trivia game received the most votes.   

The contest was to build excitement and do something fun. Tobacco Free OC also offered prizes, so the contests seemed like the best way to determine who received the chips and salsa,” said Moore. 

The top homeroom for the door decorating contest belonged to Kassi Harkness. Second place went to Paul Bosley, and third place was won by Chris Jones’s homeroom. 

Seven students were selected as winners of the Kahout! Game. The winners were: (1st) Senior Zach Henery, (2nd) Sophomore Tyler Hannon, (3rd) Freshman Ava Middleton, (4th) Junior Keely Scott, (5th) Eighth grader Genesis Gulasa, (6th) Senior Carley Higgins, (7th) Freshman Addie Peyton. 

The prizes for the top classes and winners were chips and salsa from El Compadre. 

“We liked the theme ‘E-cigarettes are NACHO friend’, and we knew that El Compadre is very supportive of our students. We reached out to them, and they voluntarily provided the chips and salsa,” said Moore. 

Many schools in Indiana participated in the Take Back Tobacco initiative, but Moore wanted to make sure students really learned more about the topic with these activities. 

I thought an interactive learning activity would be a better way to teach about the detrimental effects of tobacco and vaping.  I also liked that the door decorating activity encouraged creativity and student collaboration,” said Moore. 

Moore hopes students and adults alike will work to bring awareness to the dangers of smoking and vaping after this experience. 

If someone offers you a cigarette or a hit off of a vape, you can say, ‘no’.  It’s really that easy.  The short term harassment you are afraid of when you say no is way less scary than the long term effects of nicotine addiction, health problems, and the financial burden associated with smoking and vaping.  You can let your teachers and administrators know when you see students with a vape or other tobacco products.  As adults and school staff members, we can discourage smoking and vaping at school all we want, but I believe it will take other students speaking up against these things at school and outside of school for other students to take notice,” said Moore.

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Avalynn Slaten
Avalynn Slaten, Web Staff
Hi my name is avalynn slaten, I'm a freshman, and I like to hang out with my friends and family.
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