News and Events

Martin County SWAT Youth Celebrate Through With Chew Week
February 25, 2013

Over 40 youth members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County's East Stuart Branch SWAT Club gathered on February 21, 2013, to watch a presentation on "Through with Chew" week by Martin County High School SWAT leaders Megan Koenig, Danielle Spotts, and Meleah Davies.  The younger SWAT members, ranging in age from 11-15, listened intently as their older peer leaders spoke about the dangers of chew tobacco products and the lure of candy flavored tobacco products.

SWAT at BGC
From L to R: Meleah Davies and Megan Koenig (MCHS SWAT), Husain Ebrahimi
(Boys & Girls Club of East Stuart), Kim Waser (Martin County Tobacco Prevention Specialist)

The Boys & Girls Clubs SWAT members asked questions ranging from the effects of tobacco use to how to prevent their friends from using products, and the MCHS leaders led an inspirational and informative discussion on preventing youth tobacco use, talking to their friends and family about tobacco, and marketing strategies tobacco companies use to target youth.

Some students asked questions about e-cigarettes, a new product they are seeing in advertisements and in retail establishments, that they've heard is harmless and helpful.  The presenters were able to explain the dangers of products marketing themselves as cessation tools, which contain tobacco, chemicals, and the dangers of which are largely unknown.

After the presentation, youth continued conversations about their experiences with tobacco products and the strategies they use to encourage their friends to stay away from the harmful products.  Presenters remained at the Club afterwards, answering questions one-on-one and engaging with the Boys & Girls Clubs youth.

"Our younger members had the opportunity to learn valuable lessons from the Martin County High School students, who provided great information of the adverse affects of chewing tobacco," said Husain Ebrahimi, Boys & Girls Clubs East Stuart Program Director.  "The staff were inspired to see the influence our older youth had on our younger generation."