On Tobacco-Free Kids Day, one Tyler mother said it's a reminder of why she quit.
"One day my daughter came home, and she told me the school had told her, 'Mommy does drugs,'" April Scott said. "But the more I thought about it — it is a drug. It takes over your life. It consumes your daily activity."
Scott started smoking in high school, and she quit one year ago because of her daughter. She has never looked back.
"My goal as a parent is to be proud to have them turn out like me, and I don't want smoking to be part of that equation," Scott said.
Several Smith County schools participated in the 12th annual Tobacco-Free Kids Day on Wednesday. The goal is to bring awareness to the dangers of tobacco.
Schools included John Tyler High School, Robert E. Lee High School, Chapel Hill High School, Whitehouse High School and Early College High School.
Each school made this announcement:
“Do you know what's in a cigarette? How about rat poison, ammonia and nail polish remover? Why would you want to put that in your mouth? You will see students and faculty wearing Texas Tobacco-Free Kids Day shirts today representing at least 70 people that die every day in Texas from tobacco-related deaths. You have the power to be tobacco-free. Save yourself the trouble and don't start.”
The Texas Department of State Health Services and the Center and Safe Communities and Schools sponsor the event for. It's held in conjunction with Kick Butts Day.
Whitehouse family physician Dr. Janet Hurley said many patients she sees have stopped smoking because of their children.
She said the earlier the education, the better the chance of saving them from the bad habit.
"Teenage brains, child brains, when exposed to nicotine, are more likely to develop addiction pathways than adults," she said.
She said about 24 percent of the Northeast Texas smokes, which is higher than any other part of the state.