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Simulators give students a dose of smoking reality

By Staff
Staff Reports, Hartselle Enquirer
Students in the Hartselle City and Morgan County school systems will soon learn first hand the dangers of smoking.
The Mental Health Center of North Central Alabama's Center for Prevention Services is introducing a new tobacco prevention education program using a smoking simulator. The "NICoteen" program consists of a six-day educational curriculum and the use of smoking simulators.
Participating students will carry the simulators with them overnight or during the weekend.
The simulator calculates how much money, time and minutes of their lives would be wasted if they smoked. The simulator also gives information on smoking-related topics, such as where smoking is prohibited, the effect on appearance, etc.
"There are a lot of kids who will benefit from this service," Kathy Goodwin, program director for the NICoteen smoking simulator program, said.
"We are delighted to make this service available to the community."
The program is scheduled to start this month in Hartselle City, Morgan County, Decatur City and Lawrence County school systems and Limestone County and Decatur City Boys and Girls Clubs.
Because of a partnership with the Alabama Department of Public Health, the program is being offered to the groups at no charge.