Barrow County 5th grader Lynda Mae Peppers of Holsenbeck Elementary School in Winder was recently recognized at the Barrow County Board of Education meeting for placing second in the 2023 Statewide Tar Wars tobacco and vaping prevention program poster contest. GHFA Deputy Director Kara Sinkule (L) and Statewide Tar Wars Manager Danielle Towns (R) presented Lynda Mae (C) with a $75 cash prize and a certificate of achievement.
The Tar Wars program utilizes innovative and interactive classroom activities to educate Georgia youth about the short-term consequences of tobacco use, new and emerging tobacco products like vapes/ E-Cigarettes, the cost associated with using tobacco products, and the advertising techniques used by the tobacco industry to market their products to youth. The lesson consists of two components: a one-hour classroom presentation and a follow-up poster contest. After they complete the Tar Wars program, they complete a post-test. Data revealed significant knowledge gains in all areas by students including:
- 87% of students reported learning something new from Tar Wars
- 93% of students responded people who smoke are not healthy and fit (in the post-test)
- 33% more students said advertisers are not telling the truth about tobacco use (from the pretest to the post-test)
- 28% more students said that vapes are not safer than regular cigarettes (from the pre-test to the post-test)