On Wednesday, June 20 a group of 15 students left the Winnsboro Wal-Mart parking lot and embarked on a journey to learn more about tobacco through community service projects, field guides, games and facts that tobacco companies don’t advertise to the public.
REAL Teen Action members attended the 2012 OutRAGEous Fest at Furman University in Greenville, hosted by DHEC’s RAGE Against the Haze and the South Carolina Tobacco Collaborative.
Members were able to experience college dorm life and learn new things about tobacco and how to start conversations with their peers about the dangers of using tobacco products.
“I thought Rage Fest was great. I learned a lot about what smoking does to us. I would love to go back and meet new people.”, said Kenuious Boyles, 12, from Fairfield Middle School.
RAGE Against the Haze is a teen led initiative that began in 2002 to empower teens with self-confidence and knowledge so they might become the influencers of their generation, spreading the anti-tobacco use message, peer to peer, throughout South Carolina, much like a virus is spread.
Students learned that the tobacco industry targets their age group as replacement smokers so that they can continue to sell their products.
Students also learned that there are 4,000+ chemicals in cigarettes including, but not limited to: Acetone, Ammonia, Arsenic, Carbon monoxide, Formaldehyde, Hydrogen cyanide, Methane, and Methanol.
Jada Butler, 13, of Fairfield Middle School, said, “I felt Rage Fest was a great experience and I learned a lot about cigarettes and the chemicals in them.”
Students learned what these chemicals can do to their bodies and how to have respectful and helpful conversations with their peers about using tobacco products.
REAL Teen Action members are excited about the events and activities for the coming school year.
They plan to use the knowledge they gained from Rage Fest 2012 throughout the year and throughout their lives to educate others about the dangers of tobacco products.
Special thanks to Fairfield Behavioral Health Services’s Prevention Specialist/Advisers for the REAL Teen Action group and chaperons for the group of students who participated from Blythewood and Columbia.
Courtney Kilgore and Veronica Edmonds will be inviting five more students to join REAL Teen Action for the upcoming 2012-2013 school year.
For more questions about REAL Teen Action or any services of Fairfield Behavioral Health Services please contact them at 635-2335.