Bidwell Junior High’s KLEAN Team Keeping Second-Hand Smoke at a Distance

Activism can be presented in different ways, but is typically born from passion and tends to be contagious. For some 8th grade students at Bidwell Junior High, their passion is fueled by educating the public about the dangers of second-hand smoke.

Over the last 4 years and in partnership with the California Health Collaborative and American Lung Association, the school’s Kids Leading Everyone Against Nicotine (KLEAN) team has dedicated their time and energy to advocating for California’s landmark statewide smoke-free law, AB 13, protecting millions of Californians from second-hand smoke exposure. 

Additionally, numerous California communities have adopted local 100% smoke-free laws, expanding smoke-free protections to outdoor workplaces and public places where people gather, such as near building entrances, service lines, patio dining areas, parks, beaches, community events and recreation facilities. 

“It is such a great cause, and as more research has been done, we continue to learn about the harmful effects second-hand smoke has on the population,” says Madi Crandall, member of the KLEAN team. “It’s hard not to get behind it. My goal is to keep our community happy and healthy!” 

“Several policies have now been passed, in part due to the students great efforts!”  states Ann Brodsky, coordinator of tobacco prevention for Chico Unified School District. She adds, “At least 12 letters have been submitted and published in various media sources over the past four  years.” See letter below:

Dear Editor,

We are eighth graders from Bidwell Junior High, and along with being in our school peer mediation group, we are involved with the program Kids Leading Everyone Against Nicotine (K.L.E.A.N.). 

In the beginning of the school year we went to some of the local businesses and restaurants here in Chico to check for anti-smoking signs, ashtrays and cigarette butts within 20 feet of the doorways. We were surprised how little enforcement there was of this law. The lack of anti-smoking signs and ashtray removals was greatly present. At some restaurants there were over 100 cigarette butts right in front of the entrance! We found having toxic cigarette butts close to where people are trying to enjoy their food very disturbing. 

The solution is quite simple: Enforce the law of no smoking 20 feet in front of the doorways to businesses. Then people will be able to enjoy their outings in Chico much better, and not have to worry about their health.

Bidwell Junior High K.L.E.A.N. Team,

Madi Crandall, Rachel Christian, Lorena Ramirez, Katie Rasmussen, Emily Blevins

There is a great amount of pride and accomplishment to be felt for these revolutionary students. However small or large any victory is, their efforts to keep their community healthy and happy are nothing short of admirable. 

Nicole Kaufmann
About Nicole Kaufmann

Nicole Kaufmann fills her days with three daughters, yoga and writing. She strives to live a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.

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