Paw Paw Raze crew to Charleston
Members of the Paw Paw High School RAZE crew traveled to Charleston January 25 to participate in Tobacco Free Day activities at the capitol. Attending were Sierra Hott, Brittany Kidwell, Caitlin Shambaugh and Dylan Rowzee, students; Taunie Faidley-Buckley, RAZE sponsor; and Kristie Randall, Healthy Schools Director for Morgan County Schools.
The Paw Paw crew, along with RAZE crews from across West Virginia, participated in day long activities. During the day, the Paw Paw Crew had the opportunity to talk with Morgan County Delegate Daryl Cowles who introduced the crew and their chaperones in the House Chambers during the floor session. Both Delegate Cowles and Delegate Craig Blair visited the Paw Paw exhibit on athletes and tobacco. Jackson County Delegate Mitch Carmichael recognized the teens for their involvement in educating peers, family and community members and for their support in helping to pass the bill raising taxes on tobacco and alcohol products while lowering the food tax.
"This is a wonderful experience for any middle or high school student. They have the opportunity to make an impact and a lasting impression on a cause they are so passionate about," said Donna Kuhn, RESA VIII Regional Tobacco Prevention Specialist.
Although tobacco use among teens is on the decline, teens know how important it is to continue the fight. Nearly 90 percent of smokers begin at or before the age of 18 and more than five million kids under the age of 18 in the United States are regular smokers. More than a third of all adolescents who ever try smoking a cigarette become regular daily smokers before leaving high school.
Since its inception in 2001, nearly 10,000 teens have joined RAZE in its fight against tobacco. Currently, there are more than 190 crews throughout the state in all 55 counties.
For more information about RAZE, visit www.razewv.com or contact Taunie Faidley-Buckley at Paw Paw School or Donna Kuhn, RESA VIII Tobacco Prevention Specialist at firstname.lastname@example.org.