The FAMU Kick Butts Day event held on March 22nd, 2018 successfully educated the campus about the fight against the tobacco industry. Students and faculty members were inspired by the message of seizing control from Big Tobacco and encouraging others to do the same. Through educational vendors, games, prizes and food, this event inspired change in a community that is largely targeted by Big Tobacco.
The following is a summary provided by Amara Lewis. In collaboration with the Respiratory Care Organization, she helped coordinate the event and its activities:
Educational materials were provided by the vendors to include “Quit Your Way” cards from Tobacco Free Florida, cessation resources (Big Bend AHEC classes, North Florida Women’s Care services, etc.), and informational pamphlets providing information on the Tobacco Free Leon Partnership. Vendors also spoke on prevalent issues regarding tobacco such as Point of Sale marketing, tobacco use in youth, and the harmful effects of tobacco use, including smoking expenditures. Students and faculty were enlightened by this information and encouraged their peers/colleagues to learn more about it as well.
A few of the activities include The Lung Race, Strike Out Tobacco, and Mythbusters: Tobacco Edition.
In The Lung Race, two participants race against each other in filling a balloon with air by using a straw. The activity demonstrates the challenges faced when your lungs are unhealthy and have to do twice the work, as evident in smokers.
Strike Out Tobacco is a bowling game designed to educate about the harmful chemicals in tobacco products, especially cigarettes. Using a giant inflatable bowling set, participants attempt to knock down pins that have been labeled with various chemicals (including cadmium, ambergris, acetone, etc.). The facilitator reads a description of one of the chemicals that has fallen, and the participants guess which chemical matches the description. Most people had no idea about the nature of the hazardous components in tobacco products, particularly the whale vomit/feces!
Mythbusters: Tobacco Edition serves as an opportunity for participants to put their tobacco knowledge to the test! A wheel is spun with multiple tobacco myths and facts, and it is the participant’s job to guess whether the statement they landed on is a myth or a fact. It surprised many people that nicotine is just as addictive than heroin!
In addition to the great games and activities that were played during the event, there was also a DJ playing the latest tunes and promoting everyone to kick butts! In between songs he would broadcast that we are fighting against Big Tobacco and transitioning FAMU into a tobacco-free campus. Additionally, gift cards were offered at the booth as incentives to answer challenging tobacco-related questions, such as, “One in every ____ Americans dies from tobacco-related illnesses.”