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Liberty 4-H'ers kick tobacco's butts
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At rear, Liberty County 4-H Vice President Jordyn James and Cheynelle James, and in front, 4-H alumni Roman Buentipo and 4-H President Sophia Rodriguez pose for a photo and hold up props behind a hanging photo frame as part of the 4-Hers local observance of National Kick Butts Day. - photo by Photo by Tiffany King

Liberty County 4-H’ers kicked tobacco’s butts Wednesday during the 4-H National Kick Butts Day to raise awareness of the dangers of smoking.

The 4-H students set up a display in the multipurpose room in the Liberty County Historic Courthouse that provided information on smoking and secondhand smoke, a giant cigarette that showed the harmful ingredients inside and a hanging photo frame for visitors to take selfies. There were props with sayings such as “Stop Smoking,” “#Kickbutts” and “#NotAReplacement.”

Kasey Bozeman, Liberty County 4-H county Extension agent, said “#NotAReplacement” means healthy people are not replacements for smokers who die from tobacco use and that all lives are important.

“It’s important to teach kids now the dangers of smoking and secondhand smoke so it will stick with them,” Bozeman said. “It’s about total health and overall quality of life. Usually when we think about smoking, it’s lung cancer, but it’s more than that. It’s important to teach youth that it doesn’t just affect breathing.”

The antismoking display showed that tobacco use can lead to cardiovascular disease, cataracts, bone fractures, stroke, abdominal aortic aneurysm and more.

Sophia Rodriguez, Liberty County 4-H president and southeast region senior board president, said, “Being a part of 4-H, we are all advocates of healthy living, and any avenue where we can advertise to the community ways to live healthier, we want to take those steps. So this was a great way that we could reach out to the community and express how bad smoking is and ways you can avoid it.”

A bowl full of discarded cigarette butts was part of the antismoking display. The 4-H students picked up trash Tuesday evening in downtown Hinesville as part of the Great American Cleanup, spearheaded by Keep Liberty Beautiful, and found cigarette butts on the ground.

“We were picking up litter in the park and looking to see how many cigarette butts we could find,” Rodriguez said. “It’s just crazy how much is around and you don’t see it.”

For Kick Butts Day, 4-H students Rodriguez; Jordyn James, Liberty County 4-H vice president and southeast senior board member; and Roman Buentipo, 4-H alumni and volunteer, created a video. In the video, Buentipo and James are sitting on a table in Bradwell Park. Buentipo’s character starts smoking a giant cigarette, while James looks on, inhaling secondhand smoke. Rodriguez comes into the scene and snatches the cigarette while telling how to avoid the dangers of smoking.

Gypsy James, Liberty County 4-H program assistant, came up with the video idea and filmed the scene. Rodriguez directed and wrote the script for the video. She said it took a long time to edit because several takes were required.

The video can be seen on Youtube at youtube/1fIHerL2UkE.

Some community members dropped by the multipurpose room to take photos and talked about the effects of smoking. 

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