FULTON, NY – Fulton Junior High School students were able to peer into the future and see how ugly they would look like if they smoked until age 65.
Oswego Health Registered Nurses Nola Gardner and Susan Callaway, who are also community educators, spent two days in the school’s seventh grade health classrooms of Dan Gilmore and Dan Stadtmiller discussing the dangers of smoking.
Using special age-progression software on loan from the Rural Health Network of Oswego County, a picture was taken of a student in each of the classes which showed how they would look at age 65 if they were a smoker.
According to Gilmore, the students had a strong reaction to the age progression software demonstration. “I know the students at Fulton Junior High took valuable information from this presentation, now hopefully they will remember when faced with decisions about tobacco use in the future,” said Gilmore in an email following the presentation.
A power point presentation that included a slide of two 44-year-olds, one a long-time smoker whose lungs were blackened from years of smoking and the second from a healthy individual that were pink and healthy, drew surprise from the students.
Along with demonstrating how smoking would affect the student’s health, the community nurses shared how this habit would impact their wallets.
To illustrate the cost of cigarettes to the students, the nurses asked the seventh graders to make a wish list that totaled $1,000. They then informed the youths that conservatively a one pack a day smoker spends $1,300 annually on this poor health habit.
The Oswego Health nurses appreciated the chance to visit the classrooms to encourage the students to never smoke.
“This was a wonderful opportunity to interact with these young adults and share a very important health lesson,” said Callaway. The nurses offered similar programs recently to seventh graders at the Oswego Middle School.