Sixth grade students at East Layton Elementary School wound up their school year with a project to educate fellow young people on the dangers of tobacco use.
The students in Don Beatty's sixth grade class designed and distributed place mats pointing out the dangers of tobacco, aiming the message at young patrons of a nearby fast-food restaurant.Each student created two black and white designs. Three hundred of each were reproduced as place mats and distributed to the Dairy Queen in Layton Hills Mall.
The black and white design invites patrons to color in the mats.
"I am proud of my students and excited about taking a proactive role in educating peers their own age and within the county about a deadly drug such as tobacco," said Beatty.
The place mats conclude a class project that stretched over the school year, designed to teach the students about tobacco use and prevention, according to Davis County Health Department promotion specialist Kevin Condra.
With an estimated 60 percent of smokers taking up the habit by age 14, Condra said he supports the effort to increase peer pressure among young people against tobacco use.
Anti-tobacco information is also distributed, stressing the dangers, Condra said, but he often wonders if young people take it to heart.
"It is hard for young students, who often see themselves as invincible, to comprehend diseases that may occur over a lifetime," he said.
"Any method in which students can continuously be reminded and inundated early on will hopefully give them the skills needed to make a healthy and wise decision when the time comes."