Pictured with this year’s display of luminaria is Dean Wenrich, coordinator for B.O.O.O.T.; Hayden Nevarez, B.O.O.O.T. student from the Bullhead City Elementary School District; Jeanne Miller, B.O.O.O.T. sponsor at Mohave Accelerated Learning Center; and B.O.O.O.T. students from MALC Ivanna Gomez, Ashlyn Finney and Sirina Castillo.

BULLHEAD CITY — Bullhead Opting Out Of Tobacco, known as B.O.O.O.T., staffed a table outside the local Target store on Nov. 15.

Impetus for this event is known as GASO (The Great American Smoke Out), an annual national day of acknowledgement about the devastating effects of tobacco addiction, sponsored by the American Cancer Society.

With little fanfare, this year’s day came and went. But, the local coalition of middle and senior high school B.O.O.O.T. students, displayed luminaria that were created by local fifth-graders. The luminaria had artwork that conveyed a significant fact or attention getting message about the issue of tobacco and the growing threat of vaping.This is the third year that B.O.O.O.T. has coordinated competition between local fifth-graders.

Passersby at the B.O.O.O.T. table could get information about smoking cessation services that are available through Mohave County and its connections with Ashline. Unfortunately, with drug addiction running rampant, the focus on tobacco has taken somewhat of a backseat. The impact it has on our communities health has not diminished.  

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, smoking is the leading cause of preventable death.

Worldwide, tobacco use causes nearly 6 million deaths per year, and current trends show that tobacco use will cause more than 8 million deaths annually by 2030.

Cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the United States, including more than 41,000 deaths resulting from secondhand smoke exposure. This is about one in five deaths annually, or 1,300 deaths every day.

On average, smokers die 10 years earlier than nonsmokers.

If smoking continues at the current rate among U.S. youth, 5.6 million of today’s Americans younger than 18 years of age are expected to die prematurely from a smoking-related illness. This represents about one in every 13 Americans aged 17 years or younger who are alive today.

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