Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Closer Look at the Effects of Cigarettes

By Nathalie Sturgeon

Gasoline, rat poison, toilet bowel cleaner, battery acid, are just a few of the ingredients found in cigarettes. Angela Thomas, a respiratory therapist in Miramichi who owns her own business, was on hand at Blackville School February 13 to discuss the topic of smoking. Juanita Curtis who is a victim of COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) accompanied her.

Curtis has smoked a pack of cigarettes per day for 25 years. “My lungs are completely destroyed,” said Curtis. Curtis said she finds it hard to complete her simple daily routines.

Students were asked to place a small marshmallow at the end of a straw and attempt to breathe through it for the entire lecture to demonstrate a patient suffering with COPD.

Students were provided with numerous options to avoid, quit and help support others with smoking and its dangerous effects.

According to Thomas there are 4000 chemicals within the common cigarette, 50 of which are cancer causing. And on average it takes a smoker seven attempts to finally quit smoking.
Thomas visited with both middle and high school students and staff offering helpful options as well as cessation groups to be set up within the school.

Nathalie Sturgeon is a high school student at Blackville High School. She can be reached at

In photo: (l-r back): Presenter Juantia Curtis, students Julia Astle, Michael McNeil, Cassandra Waugh and presenter Anglea Thomas (l-r front): Students Marissa Donohue, Morgan Donovan, Morgan Coughlan