To the Editor:
It has been brought to the attention of the Northview Advanced Health class that the Clay County Youth Football campus is not tobacco free.
Unlike all the youth leagues in Clay County, it is the only one that allows young children to be exposed to second-hand smoke. Adults that use tobacco can have a big influence in the tobacco behavior of young children, and they often mistake smoking as a sign of independence. According to the American Lung Association, one-third of all smokers had their first cigarette before the age of 14.
Therefore, if an adolescent begins smoking before their 18th birthday, there is a high risk that their lungs are not fully developed.
Every child has someone they look up to, a role model.
Role models offer adolescents a framework to determine their values, attitudes and behavior. The Northview High School Coach's handbook states that a coach needs to create a set of training rules for athletes who reflect the positive values of abstaining from the use of drugs, alcohol and tobacco.
With that said, shouldn't all adults, not just Northview coaches, set a good example for our young athletes?
The CYFL has done a great job of teaching values, cooperation, fair play, self-discipline and teamwork.
These are all instilled in young people through the participation in sports.
Many coaches of youth and adolescent teams support the belief that sports teach values, yet there are still incidents of not setting good behavior with tobacco use.
The Advanced Health class is willing to make tobacco-free campus signs if we can pass this policy. Let's make the CYFL campus a positive and tobacco-free environment.