World No Tobacco Day - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

05/31/07 - Lufkin

World No Tobacco Day

by Tashun Chism

It is World No Tobacco Day, and the Ellen Trout Zoo in Lufkin has been part of it.

The goal is to educate children about the dangers of tobacco.

"If we can educate the kids about the tobacco products and they can not smoke, what that does is stops them from having the habit of tobacco products. So it saves them in the long run with their health," Kim Simmons, Intervention Coordinator for the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council of Deep East Texas, said.  

The day included many fun activies for the kids, such as face painting and a puppet show. All designed to teach them valuable lessons.

"Children are more receptive if it comes in that kind of a form than trying to go through actually preaching to them. This is more fun and it puts it in a better context," Ellen Trout Zoo Director of Educational Services Charlotte Henley told us.

Organizers also had plenty of anti-tobacco material on hand to spread their message to adults while the children had fun.

Sponsors are trying to stress the importance of smoke free environments in East Texas.

"The reason we chose the zoo to have this event is we wanted to highlight the fact that the zoo and the city parks are not smoke free. So this is an environment where you have families and children coming, but yet there can be smoke here," Simmons said.

Several restaurants and other businesses around East Texas have already been designated smoke free.

Organizers of today's event hope the zoo and city parks will soon follow.

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