News Archive

LU joins Jefferson County Tobacco Coalition in ‘Kick Butts Day’ March 23

Visitors to Lamar University’s Setzer Student Center may stumble upon a surreal sight Wednesday — a graveyard.

No, it’s not the popular October holiday come early — it’s an attention-grabbing display aimed at younger smokers.

The “graveyard” display in the middle of one of Lamar’s busiest campus buildings from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. is to illustrate how many people die every day from tobacco-related causes, said Crystal Petry, director of the Jefferson County Tobacco Coalition.

Organizers hope the sinister sepulchers shock and the tombstones tell a tale that compels some to change their tobacco-use habits, Petry said.

“In Texas, tobacco is the number one cause of preventable death and disease,” Petry said. “Tobacco-related diseases kill 24,200 Texans each year.”

Nationally, more than 440,000 die each year from smoking-associated causes, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Smoking kills more people than alcohol, AIDS, car crashes, illegal drugs, murders and suicides in the U.S. combined.

While tombstones and coffins may seem macabre, the coalition is making sure visitors get the message. Organizers will be on hand with information on making the transition from smoker to successful nonsmoker – a sober message on how to “kick butts.”

The Jefferson County Tobacco Coalition seeks to increase awareness, promote prevention and cessation, improve resistance skills, and protect the public from exposure to the harmful effects of tobacco. For more information, visit www.helphopehealing.org.

For more information contact Petry at 924-3389, extension 6538.