Each day more than 3,500 children in the United States try their first cigarette. Another 1,000 become regular, daily smokers. About a third of all youth smokers will die prematurely from a disease caused by smoking. Tar Wars was founded to respond to this growing, yet preventable, health crisis. Since being established in 1988, Tar Wars has reached more than 8 million children with its tobacco-free message.
LOCAL STUDENTS CHOOSE TO BE TOBACCO-FREE 2012
MAY 14, PROVIDENCE, RI — On Saturday, May 12, the Rhode Island Medical Society, in partnership with the Rhode Island Academy of Family Physicians and the Rhode Island Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, hosted the 19th Annual Tar Wars Rhode Island Poster Contest at Paul Cuffee School in Providence. Thirty seven 5th grade students from school districts throughout the state competed to win an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, DC to represent Rhode Island in the National Tar Wars poster competition. Celebrity judges include Barbara Morse Silva, Channel 10 news reporter; Dr. Michael Fine, Director of the Department of Health; and Grayson Armstrong, Brown University medical student and member of the Medical Society’s Student Council.
The winner of the 2012 Tar Wars Rhode Island poster contest was Lucy Handy from the Paul Cuffee School in Providence. Lucy received an all-expenses paid trip for her and her family to travel this summer to the National Tar Wars poster competition in Washington, DC. The second-place winner and recipient of a $75 Visa gift card was Andres Perez from Marieville Elementary School in North Providence; and the third-place winner was Evan Fortier from R.C. LaPerche School in Smithfield. Evan received a $50 Visa gift card.
Over the past 19 years, more than 34,000 Rhode Island fifth graders have participated in the Tar Wars Rhode Island program. Each year, member-physicians from the Rhode Island Medical Society, along with nurses, physician assistants, medical students and nursing students, visit classrooms throughout the state to talk with students about the importance of being tobacco-free, making positive choices, and becoming advocates in their communities. Subsequent to the classroom presentations, each participating school coordinates a Tar Wars poster contest which encourages children to create posters with clear and positive anti-tobacco messages. Each school’s first-place winner competes in the statewide poster contest.
The Rhode Island Medical Society (RIMS) is a voluntary, non-profit professional association of medical doctors throughout Rhode Island. Founded in 1812, RIMS is dedicated to the improvement of the public health and the advancement of the profession of medicine through education, advocacy and member services. Members of the Rhode Island Medical Society include medical doctors, osteopathic physicians, physician assistants and medical students.
Tar Wars, a national tobacco-free educational program from the American Academy of Family Physicians, was developed in 1988 as a program that would allow healthcare providers and community organizations to become involved in youth tobacco edu¬cation. The program is designed to educate students prior to the age when the decision to smoke or chew tobacco is made.