In recognition of both Veteran’s Day and the Great American Smokeout in November, three Union county high schools assembled and mailed over 200 “tobacco quit kits” to soldiers deployed overseas. The Tobacco Reality Unfiltered clubs at Weddington, Marvin Ridge and Sun Valley high schools, along with the Freshman Focus class at Sun Valley High, took on the idea as a service project.
Inspired by two teachers who are club advisors and served in the military, the students rallied their schools to bring in supplies such as packages of gum, mint, candy, toothpicks, stress balls, silly putty, playing cards, etc. to be placed in the kits.
Literature on support resources for the soldiers and tips for battling nicotine addiction were also added. Students wrote personal notes to the soldiers thanking them for their service and reassuring them that everyone back home is praying for their safe and healthy return, free from tobacco addiction.
While approximately 21 percent of U.S. adults smoke, up to 49 percent of U.S. deployed servicemen ages 18 to 24 smoke and up to 27 percent use smokeless tobacco.