Mound Bayou to host Anti-Tobacco Rally
by Paisley Boston
Mar 22, 2014 | 1656 views | 0 0 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Mound Bayou is gearing up for its 6th Annual Anti-Tobacco Rally.

The event is set to take place at the Mound Bayou Facility Building April 19 from 1-3 p.m.

It is a collaborative effort with the City of Mound Bayou Youth Activity Program and the Anti-Tobacco Coalition through the Department of Health.

Project Director for Bolivar and Sunflower County Anti-Tobacco Coalition Beverly Johnson said the rally is important because smoking is the number one preventable cause of death in the United States.

"A person is introduced to tobacco everyday. By educating and bringing awareness to youth, we hope to reduce the number of individuals who use tobacco," said Johnson.

"Kids under 18 years of age are dying prematurely due to smoking. This event is important because we are saving lives," she added.

According to the Center for Disease Control an estimated 42.1 million people, of all adults in the United States smoke cigarettes.

Cigarette smoking is more common among men than women.

It is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, accounting for more than 480,000 deaths, or one of every five deaths, each year.

Mound Bayou Youth Activities Director Kelvin Brown prompted the rally.

"My father is a former smoker and after he quit smoking he began to have breathing complications whenever he is around smoke," said Brown.

According to Brown the event will be full of entertainment.

"We are set to have a group from Pace that will put on a play, live music and the Beta Phi step group," he added.

"It will be informative but it will also be fun," continued Brown.

He said he has been hosting the event for many years because he has found it to be successful and even life changing.

"I have had people to tell me that information presented to them at the rally aided them to quit smoking," said Brown.

Brown said the event is set to have several individuals who will give testimonials about how they kicked their smoking or drug habits.

"I usually have people to come in and talk to the kids about the affects of tobacco and we give the youth refreshments. We will also have a session that will allow youth to share how they have been pressured into smoking or how they handle peer pressure," he added.

More than 16 million Americans suffer from a disease caused by smoking.

"The purpose of this event is to bring awareness to our citizens about the harmful affects of tobacco. The effort is to bring these young people together and continuously remind them about the harmful affects of using tobacco," said Mound Bayou Darryl Johnson.

Each year in the United States, cigarette smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke causes 443,000—or 1 in 5 deaths.

Economic losses are also staggering.

Smoking-caused diseases result in $96 billion in health care costs annually.

"A lot of people do not understand that second hand smoke is just as harmful as first hand. Millions of people die each year throughout the state of Mississippi and the country due to second hand smoke," added Johnson.

Secondhand smoke causes numerous health problems in infants and children, including more frequent and severe asthma attacks, respiratory infections, ear infections, and sudden infant death syndrome.

Smoking during pregnancy results in more than 1,000 infant deaths annually.

Some of the health conditions caused by secondhand smoke in adults include coronary heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer.

Secondhand smoke causes nearly 34,000 premature deaths from heart disease each year in the United States among nonsmokers.

Nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or at work increase their risk of developing heart disease by 25–30 percent.

Secondhand smoke exposure causes more than 8,000 deaths from stroke annually.

"We want to ensure that we can reduce these numbers and empower young people to reframe from using tobacco," continued Brown.

Brown said donations are welcomed and individuals who would like to make a donation should make checks payable to the city of Mound Bayou and in the memo section write Anti-Tobacco Rally.

Perishable items can also be donated on April 18.

"I support this event whole-heartedly because the health of our citizens is so very important. We would like for people to come out and be a part of this event," said Mayor Johnson.

For more information or to make a donation please contact Brown at 662-741-2200.