Be Smart-Don’t Start

The 13th annual anti-tobacco health initiative reaches 2,700 Oklahomans

In spring 2017, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma (BCBSOK) sponsored “Be Smart-Don’t Start Anti-Tobacco Day” at  Science Museum Oklahoma (SMO), giving free admission to more than 2,700 guests. Over 1,700 students from 20 schools across the state came for a field trip.

BCBSOK launched the Be Smart-Don’t Start program in 2004 to help educate school-aged children about the dangers of tobacco use. The day-long event teaches thousands of Oklahoma youth how to live healthier and make smart choices.

The program offers an anti-tobacco curriculum to more than 900 teachers in 620 schools through the Newspapers in Education program published in The Oklahoman, which reaches almost 200,000 students and more than half a million Oklahoma citizens.

 

Tobacco use is a major health issue affecting the quality of life in Oklahoma. Educating our children and families can help to improve the health and well-being of Oklahomans today and in the future.

According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, nearly 3,300 children under the age of 18 will become new smokers each year, setting them up for serious health risks throughout their lives. The Be Smart-Don’t Start program uses fun, hands-on educational activities as a prevention tool.

“Tobacco use is a major health issue affecting the quality of life in Oklahoma,” said Ted Haynes, President of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma. “Educating our children and families can help to improve the health and well-being of Oklahomans today and in the future.”

Additional Be Smart-Don’t Start program partners include: American Cancer Society, American Lung Association, Oklahoma City Energy FC, Oklahoma City-County Health Department, Oklahoma State University, and University of Oklahoma. BCBSOK’s Mobile Assistance Center was also on-site.

Watch a video about the program.