Kosciusko-Attala Career Tech Center Health Science II students and representatives of the Mississippi Tobacco Free Coalition of Attala, Leake and Winston Counties and Bluff Springs Paper Company pose during a November health fair at the business. During the event, workers received free health screenings and smoking cessation tips from students.
The Health Science II students at the Kosciusko-Attala Career Tech Center provided free blood pressure screening and information about the adverse effects of smoking to Bluff Springs Paper Company employees this November during a health fair held in conjunction with the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout.
Throughout the event, employees received information about quitting smoking and viewed displays of lung damage. Although the negative effects of smoking are well known, many employees were surprised to learn about the damage second-hand smoke can cause to both smokers and non-smokers.
Students also distributed healthy snacks and informed workers about the benefits of healthy diets. During the free blood pressure checks, it was discovered that several workers had elevated numbers. They were advised to follow up with their doctors.
“I just turned 50 and went for a regular checkup. Doctors found a blockage, and I got a stent put in. It just goes to show you how important these screenings are. I felt fine and had no idea that I had anything wrong,” said Bluff Springs Paper Company President Andrew Frank. “I think our employees can really benefit from these screenings.”
Lynn McCafferty, a representative of the Mississippi Tobacco Free Coalition of Attala, Leake and Winston Counties, said her organization is creating awareness of the dangers of smoking and vaping while promoting healthy lifestyles through daily exercise, good eating habits, blood pressure and health screens.
“Approximately 40 million American adults still smoke, and tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the country,” she said.