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Volunteer State Respiratory Therapy Class Displays Warns Students About Smoking

By Abigail Vaughn

Every year during October students from Volunteer State Community College Respiratory Therapy class create a presentation to warn students about the consequences of smoking and vaping.  

This year they had four different displays.  

The first was made by Christina Ussery and Tina Robb, both students at Volunteer State Community College covered the effects of Hookah. 

“Smoking one hour of Hookah is equal to five packs of cigarettes or 100 single cigarettes,” Christina Ussery said. 

“We try to cover topics that are relevant to this generation. Kids as young as 12 have begun smoking Hookah,” Tina Robb said. 

The second display was made by Shanea Estes, Stephany Reichenbach, and Makalea Hicks. This display covered the many diseases you can get from smoking.  

“Diseases of smoking include oxygen requirement, Cancer, Heart Disease and Stroke, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Emphysema, and Pneumonia,” Shanea Estes says. 

“One hour after you quit smoking HR drops, BP begins to drop, circulation starts to improve. Four hours after nicotine in your system has dropped by 90%. 12-24 hours after Carbon monoxide levels in your blood drops to normal, the risk of heart attack is significantly reduced,” Stephany Reichenback described the short-term effects of quitting smoking. 

Makalea Hicks then describes the long-term effects of quitting smoking, “One year after quitting the risk of coronary heart disease and heart attack is reduced. Five years later the risk of mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder cancer is decreased by half. The risk of cervical cancer and stroke declines to that of a nonsmoker.”  

The third display was made by Curt Peddicord and Brooke Christ. This display covered the disease COPD.  

“COPD is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. This is when there is obstruction of airflow due to inflammation of the airway (Chronic Bronchitis) or when there is destruction of the Alveolar Wall with dilation of the airspace (Emphysema),” Curt Peddicord says.  

The fourth and last display was made by Terry West and Kyle Ortega. This display showed the consequences of vaping.  

“In February 2020, the Center of Disease Control and prevention (CDC) confirmed 2,807 cases of e-cigarette or vaping use associated with lung injury (EVALI) and 68 deaths attributed to that condition.” Terry West says. 

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