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DeKalb teens present on tobacco-free parks

Published: Tuesday, June 24, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT
Caption
(Provided photo)
Members of the DeKalb High School chapter of Reality Illinois met with DeKalb Park District Executive Director Jason Mangum and members of the park board to discuss the importance of smoke-free parks.

DeKALB – Teens from the DeKalb High School chapter of Reality Illinois, a statewide tobacco prevention program, attended the DeKalb Park District Board of Commissioners study session on June 12.

The DHS teens spent the past year researching tobacco and its harmful effects, discovering data to support smoke-free or tobacco-free parks and conducting a survey, as well as gathering cigarette butts and other tobacco products while cleaning up parks. With support from DHS nurse Lorraine Daly, liaison to the group, DHS Reality students also participated in the Great American Smokeout, encouraging their peers to sign pledges to quit smoking for the day or to never start.

During the study session, the teens presented their findings and recommendations to the board. 2014 graduate Maria Marungo addressed the harmful effects of secondhand smoke, including the expense of cleaning up tobacco-related litter such as cigarette butts and empty containers in parks. 2014 graduate Erick Salazar spoke about the cigarette butt clean up at Katz Park.

If you are looking for help to quit smoking, call the Illinois Tobacco Quitline at 1-866-QUIT-YES (1-866-784-8937) for free, confidential counseling and to see if you qualify for free nicotine replacement therapy.

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