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NHB extinguishes tobacco on Great American Smokeout day
No butts about it, Naval Hospital Bremerton staff actively participated in this year’s Great American Smokeout Nov. 19.
Staff members constructed static displays and visual interactive props to inform, educate and even entertain as many people as they could on the multiple dangers of tobacco usage.
“We have indeed come a long ways in dealing with the risks of tobacco. Doing something like this would have been laughed at 20-30 years ago,” said Capt. Mark Brouker, Naval Hospital Bremerton commanding officer.
It was a complete team effort to demonstrate their commitment in helping others quit tobacco use, according to Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Monique Lopez.
From hand-crafted costumes of a smokeless tobacco can and larger-than-life cigarette to a replica of a premature baby faced with a litany of health problems due to tobacco usage by the pregnant mother, and a bazooka-sized mock-cigarette showcasing all the varied unhealthy ingredients included in the production process, the collective message was strong.
“We have a lot of unit cohesion and getting together on our off-time to get ready for this event was really a great way to show we care,” Lopez said.
NHB’s Northwest Beginnings Family Birth Center helps to deliver approximately 700 babies a year, and corpsmen are acutely aware of how smoking can cause premature newborns. They rigged a baby-manikin up in an incubator, to visually show what could happen in a premature birth.
“There’s a whole host of health issues that smoking can bring to a newborn,” said HM3 Maximiliano Jimenezcuevas.
Hospitalman Briana Bartholomew provided a flamboyant and unique presence on the command quarterdeck in her handmade smokeless tobacco costume, handing out personally-designed flyers.
“I chew and I’m trying to quit. Being involved in this event is helping me and I hope that we’re also helping others,” she said.
Lopez and HN Daniel Brown, from Las Vegas, also constructed a mock cigarette model that featured a number of the less-than-sundry elements added in the production process.
“It’s really amazing,” Brown said. “There’s acetone, tar, formaldehyde, butane, glass cleaner, even arsenic.”
“Odds are that most people who smoke don’t realize any of that,” she added.
With the help of NHB’s corpsmen, they may finally start — one butt at a time.