Before summer break, Grant Elementary families warned about lingering effects of smoke breaks


Shining a light on the consequences of second-hand smoke at Grant Elementary will hopefully convince parents not to light up around their kids or allow others to do so.

That was the main message from Dr. Raymond Chimezie’s workshop last week at the Richmond elementary school that included parents, students, teachers and others. It was Chimezie’s second annual health event at the school, with this year’s focus on smoking risk factors. Last year, the founder of Health for Schools and Communities Foundation, who also runs youth health programs in African schools, implemented a unique, interactive program at Grant encouraging nutritious eating habits.

Last week’s workshop, entitled Impact of Secondhand Smoke on Children’s Health, demonstrated health risks in an interactive setting where students crafted posters campaigning against second-hand smoke.

healthfair.6-10-1Also, retired nurse practitioner Valerie Stoller, who worked at UC Berkeley Student Health Center for more than 20 years, delivered a presentation to parents on the topic.

“Second-hand smoke triggers asthma in children, and causes other diseases such as middle-ear infection, chronic respiratory infections, and lung problems,” Chimezie said.

He added that second-hand smoke “stays in the air long after the smoking and can be inhaled by anybody coming into the place. Opening windows in the house or car is not a safety measure. Smoke sticks to fabrics and oozes out days after the smoke.”

Below is the speech Chimezie delivered to Grant families: