MAKING AN IMPACT
Helping Kids Make Smart Choices
Thousands of Oklahoma children learn about the dangers of tobacco use with Be Smart-Don’t Start.
In May 7, 2019, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma (BCBSOK) presented the Be Smart-Don’t Start Anti-Tobacco Day at Science Museum Oklahoma .
Nearly 2,000 guests received free admission to the museum, courtesy of BCBSOK. More than 1,200 students from 17 schools across the state attended the daylong event.
BCBSOK started Be Smart-Don’t Start in 2004 to help educate children about the dangers of tobacco use with fun hands-on activities.
The program also provides an anti-tobacco curriculum to more than 1,000 teachers in more than 700 schools through the Newspapers in Education program in The Oklahoman.
According to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, 1,800 Oklahoma children become new smokers each year. That sets them up for serious health risks throughout their lives.
“Tobacco use is a major health issue affecting the quality of life in Oklahoma,” said BCBSOK President Joseph R. Cunningham, M.D. “Educating our children and families can help to improve the health and well-being of Oklahomans today and in the future.”
The program’s partners include: American Cancer Society , American Lung Association , Newspapers in Education , Oklahoma City Energy FC , Oklahoma State University , Science Museum Oklahoma and the University of Oklahoma . BCBSOK's Mobile Assistance Center was also on hand for the event.