World No Tobacco Day

May 31, 2012

The Huffington Post’s Amanda L. Chan posted an article about World No Tobacco Day. Today marks the 25th anniversary of the campaign that focuses on “the need to expose and counter the tobacco industry’s brazen and increasingly aggressive attempts to undermine global tobacco control efforts” (World Health Organization).

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), tobacco takes 6 million lives each year with 600,000 of those deaths coming from second-hand smoke.

Chan’s article featured the smoking rates of all fifty states reported by Gallup-Healthways. Kentucky had the highest smoking rate with 27.6 percent of the state’s population saying they smoked in 2011.

Study researchers hope that the World No Tobacco Day campaign will encourage people to quit smoking. The habit is accountable for 90% of lung cancer deaths in men and 80% in women according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Although smoking rates have decreased over the years, health specialists hope that World No Tobacco Day will further provide people important information on the dangers of smoking and using tobacco products. Dr. Ann Wending, M.D., MPH, medical director of Tobacco Cessation at Healthways said, “evidence-based programs such as telephone quitlines and web-based programs along with quit medication, have been shown to help break the physical, psychological and behavioral addiction to tobacco.”

To read the full article and see the smoking rates for all fifty states, click here.

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Odessa Fourth Graders Complete the LST Program

May 31, 2012

NewsWest 9 reported on Burleson Elementary in Odessa, Texas where 86 fourth graders completed the LST program last Thursday.

The program was funded by the United Way of Odessa and the students took part in the program throughout the months of April and May.

Click here to read full report.


7-Eleven targets youth with Alcopop

May 30, 2012

According to U.S.-based alcohol industry watchdog, Alcohol Justice, a report has shown convenience store giant 7-Eleven promoting alcopops at a lower price than energy drinks and other alcoholic beverages. Alcohol Justice believes that the lower-priced alcopops, legally referred to as “flavored malt beverages,” entice youth. Usually, alcopops were similar in price to alcoholic beverages such as beer. However, supersized alcopops like Four Loko and Mike’s Hard Lemonade, which come in 16- to 24-ounce cans “were cheaper per standard drink than similarity sized beer.”

The 7-Eleven convenience stores located in northern California’s Marin County were surveyed for alcopop prices. Marin County is a part of California “plagued with excessive youth alcohol consumption.” The reason why alcopops are so enticing to youth is because of their cheap price, packaging, high amount of alcohol, and taste similar to fruit juices. These drinks are the go-to beverage for teenagers; one-third of teenage girls between the ages of 12 and 18 opt for alcopops over other alcoholic beverages. One-fifth of their male counterparts in the same age group drink alcopops as well. The alcohol industry refers to these drinks as “transitional beverages,” hooking youth onto alcohol at an early age.

To read the full article and report by Alcohol Justice, click here.


Be safe and aware this Memorial Day Weekend

May 24, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend is known to have heavy traffic on the road, let alone known to be an enjoyable weekend with family and friends. And with that comes an increase in drunk driving.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 397 people died during the three-day weekend in 2010. Forty percent of those car accidents were alcohol-related. NHTSA also noted that every 51 minutes in 2010, more than 10,000 people died in alcohol-impaired car crashes. They noted that alcohol-impaired driving occurs mostly on weekends and at night.

Alcohol affects a person’s ability to properly and safely operate a vehicle. Alcohol interferes with one’s coordination and judgment, and can even affect one’s ability to drive the next day since it can affect the brain for hours on end especially when consumed in excess.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) recommend that if people decide to drink, they should not consume more than one drink per hour and to have a designated driver take them home.

To read the full article, click here.


LST available in Kauai this summer

May 21, 2012

The county of Kauai in Hawaii will be offering LST to youth ages 12 to 17 this summer for FREE.

Deann Yamaguchi of Life’s Choices Kauai has been trained in the LifeSkills program and will be implementing the program this summer for youth ages 12 to 17. “We’re very excited about presenting the Botvin LifeSkills Training program to our community,” Yamaguchi stated.

Life’s Choices Kauai Coordinator Theresa Koki also added that the program, “doesn’t just provide information about the dangers of drug abuse, it also focuses on developing the skills necessary for handling challenging situations.”

The trainings will be held at the Kalaheo Neighborhood Center starting June 1st and will run until July 20th. Training times are 8am – 4pm.

For more information on registering for these training and to read the full article, click here.


Recap of India’s International Life Skills, Health and Wellbeing Summit

May 18, 2012

Last month, LST developer Dr. Gilbert J. Botvin traveled to New Delhi for the Central Board of Secondary Education’s International Life Skills, School Health & Wellbeing Summit 2012. The summit was in collaboration with “Expressions India” organized by Dr. Jitendra Nagpal, a senior consultant psychiatrist.

The Central Board of Secondary Education introduced the LST program as “an integral part of the curriculum.” The summit involved the attendance from 200 schools and 400 teachers around India.

One school in attendance , N.C. Jindal Public School, participated in the summit enthusiastically and referred to Botvin as “the father of life skills.”

To view photos of the summit, click here.

To read the full article, click here.


Office of Innovation and Improvement: Promise Neighborhoods Program–Implementation Grant Competition

May 18, 2012

Grant: Supports nationally significant programs to improve the quality of elementary and secondary education at the State and local levels and to help all children meet challenging State academic content and student academic achievement standards.

Funder: Department of Education.

Eligibility: Refer to this document on page 11.

Amount: unspecified; estimated $27,790,000.

Contact: click here.

Deadline: July 27, 2012.


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