Be Smart-Don’t Start Celebrates 13th Successful Year

 On Tuesday, May 3, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma (BCBSOK) sponsored “Be Smart-Don’t Start Anti-Tobacco Day” at Science Museum Oklahoma (SMO). More than 2,200 students and guests received free admission to SMO, courtesy of BCBSOK. Approximately 1,500 students representing 17 schools from across the state were present for field trips.

Participating schools included:

  • Central Intermediate- Wagoner
  • Central High- Wagoner
  • Edgemere Elementary- Oklahoma City
  • Edwards Elementary- Oklahoma City
  • Eugene Field Elementary- Oklahoma City
  • Fox Elementary- Fox
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary- Oklahoma City
  • Midwest City Elementary- Midwest City
  • Mustang Elementary- Mustang
  • Peary Elementary- Tulsa
  • Remington Elementary- Tulsa
  • Riverside Indian School- Anadarko
  • Sangre Ridge Elementary- Stillwater
  • Stanley Hupfeld Academy- Oklahoma City
  • Thelma Parks Elementary- Oklahoma City
  • Westfield Elementary- Edmond
  • White Rock Elementary- McLoud

 The annual Be Smart-Don’t Start initiative helps educate school-aged children about the dangers of tobacco use, and how to make smart choices to live a healthy lifestyle. SMO guests were also treated to the debut of Blaze the Braggin’ Blue Dragon’s Be Smart-Don’t Start music video at the event.

For the past 13 years, BCBSOK has reached thousands of Oklahoma youth with vital education through the Be Smart-Don’t Start Anti-Tobacco program. According to the Oklahoma Turning Point Council, approximately 88,000 Oklahoma youth, who are alive today, will die prematurely of smoking related illnesses. Although Oklahoma has seen a significant decrease in smokers in the past decade, approximately 22 percent of Oklahoma youth still smoke.

“BCBSOK is committed to investing in programs that enrich the health, well-being and quality of life for Oklahoma children and families,” said Ted Haynes, President of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma. “Initiatives like the Be Smart-Don’t Start Anti-Tobacco program give Oklahoma’s children an opportunity to learn about the dangers of tobacco in a unique, hands-on setting.”

 Be Smart- Don't Start program partners, American Cancer Society, American Lung Association, Newspapers in Education, Oklahoma City Energy FC, Oklahoma City-County Health Department, Oklahoma State University, Operation Aware, Science Museum Oklahoma and University of Oklahoma were present with hands-on, educational activities for children to enjoy. BCBSOK's Mobile Assistance Center was also on-site with healthy trivia and prizes for students.