Youth smoking rates in Virginia have plummeted to the lowest point in a decade according to the latest survey conducted by the Virginia Tobacco Settlement Foundation. VTSF funds model prevention programs such as Botvin LifeSkills Training to increase youth’s knowledge of the consequences of tobacco and substance use. The implementation of the program is part of a statewide effort to reduce and prevent tobacco use among children and teenagers.
The Botvin LifeSkills Training Program addresses the following Myths and Realities of Smoking:
Myth: Cigarette smoking is not as dangerous as some people say.
Reality: Most health experts agree that cigarette smoking is one of the most serious causes of death and disability in this country.
Myth: It’s easy to quit smoking.
Reality: Most people are unsuccessful at quitting smoking, even though 1/2 of all smokers have tried to quit at least once.
Myth: Smoking is not something I will have to worry about until I’m old.
Reality: Smoking is something that hurts you now. It hurts you physically by decreasing your ability to perform strenuous activities, elevating carbon monoxide levels and decreasing endurance, staining teeth and fingers, affecting your sense of taste, causing you to smell like smoke and costing over $1,000 a year.
Myth: Most people smoke cigarettes.
Reality: Relatively few people smoke cigarettes and even fewer are likely to smoke in the future.
Myth: Smoking is cool and sophisticated.
Reality: Smoking has become socially unacceptable in most places.