"Our school has been famous for generations for its 'smart kids,' but we still have a major problem with tobacco," remarks David Hutt, the Substance Abuse Counselor at Bronx Science. "No matter how smart our students may be, it's not enough for them to 'know' smoking is bad for them, they have to 'feel' it. This is great because the anti-tobacco video games involve the kids, get them thinking, and help them break whatever emotional bond they may have with the desire to smoke."
"I love playing the 'Smoke Zapper' game, says Wan Li Zhu, one of the team of four Bronx Science students who have been helping to make modifications to the program to suit the needs of the school's ethnically diverse student body. "We're programming in our own health suggestions." The object of 'Smoke Zapper' is to rack up points while shooting down flying cigarettes and avoiding their deadly ashes. All the while, health and personal empowerment suggestions flash quickly onto the computer screen at five- second intervals.
"When I first came to the school to show the program," says developer Elliot Essman, "I was a little early and had to wait in my car for ten minutes, watching young people leaning against a fence, smoking. That kind of thing breaks my heart."
Software developer Elliot Essman is available to demonstrate "No Smoke" in schools and in corporate and health care settings. Full contact information is on our contact page.
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