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Elementary Student Contributes $125 to Help Mom Quit Smoking

Submitted by Cindy Gunter

Cedric Boone received a huge pat on the back from Knox County Smokebusters and Beyond for his efforts to help his mother give up her tobacco habit.  This past fall 10-year-old Cedric offered to pay for his mother to receive the medical laser treatment that would lead to her successfully kicking her nicotine habit after more than twenty years.
Knox County Smokebusters (SB) and Beyond presented Cedric with a SB t-shirt and his mother with a "No Smoking" sign courtesy of Missouri Foundation for Health during the December 7, 2007 Soaring Eagle Assembly at the Knox County Elementary.  After introduction by Elementary Principal Marty Strange, Smokebuster students presented a satirical message that began, "Thank you big tobacco companies…" and finished that statement with things like, my breath smells raunchy, my teeth are yellow, my grandpa has emphysema, and I spend all my money on tobacco.  The message is that while tobacco companies are targeting youth and the American public with the $27 billion message that they are a kindler, gentler product, people are suffering from the addictive nature of nicotine.  Another recently discovered complication of secondhand smoke is tat it creates learning and in particular, reading difficulties for America’s children.
For all these reasons and more, Ann said she just had to quit.  She started smoking as a teenager and despite the constant encouragement of her family, friends, and medical provider, found it difficult to quit.  Then she heard about the painless laser procedure that many have used to successfully kick the addictive qualities of nicotine.  The only problem Ann faced now was that she could not afford the treatment.
Then CEDRIC to the rescue!!!  Cedric reported that he could not tolerate the secondhand smoke created by his mother’s smoking.  He said it made his eyes water and his head hurt.  He had asthma symptoms and his clothes and his hair smelled bad even after washing.  It was so important to his mother be able to quit that Cedric offered to pay for the treatment.  Ann accepted his offer only on the condition that she pay him back with the savings she realized from not supporting her cigarette habit.  With the money she saves, she will return Cedric’s investment of $125 in less than 60 days.  When Cedric is paid off, she is free to use the saved money for anything she wishes.
Ann Boone reports that she feels 100% better after quitting.  She says she cannot stand the secondhand smoke or even the tell tale smell of smoke in other peoples’ clothing, cars, or homes.  She is amazed that it so easy to quit once she made up her mind and accepted Cedric’s offer.  She says that first a person must want to quit and that she was motivated by concern for her children and her desire to provide a healthy, safe environment for them.
Knox County Smokebusters and Beyond provided and distributed t-shirts, pens, pencils, stickers, backpacks, and other school related items to the Soaring Eagle crowd.  SB Student participants included Lorrie Peters, Stacey Leckbee, Lance McMahon, Chelsea Bisch, Hannah Dale, Megan Hunolt, Brett Bryant and Brittney Miller.  SB students were pleased to recognize Cedric and his mother for their efforts to support a safe and healthy environment for their family and community. In addition, Ann is the mother of Jaston Boone, seventh grade and Rayden Wheeler, kindergarten, at Knox County R-1 and Trace Wheeler, preschool.
SB is planning other events to recognize the cessation efforts of our community.
Funding for this project was provided in part by the Missouri Foundation for Health.  The Missouri Foundation for Health is a philanthropic organization whose vision is to improve the health of the people in the communities it serves.