78,000 Oklahoma Kids Smoke; Campaign To Stop It

It is hard to believe, but 78,000 Oklahoma children use tobacco.

And many kids are regular smokers at age 11.

That's why the State Health Department is teaming up with Blue Cross Blue Shield for a contest called "Be Smart, Don't Start".

Grades K-5 will get interactive lessons to learn about the risks involved with smoking.

Then, they'll submit a video, audio or visual project for competition.

The winning entry will be made into a commercial.

Hilarie Houghton with BCBS says, "It contributes to health care costs. It contributes to loss of productivity in workplace and everything. So we've found if you can catch children at a young age, and teach them that, they don't want to start smoking. They don't want to get into tobacco use. Then it's much better for them in the long run."

Other prizes include an iPad, i-Tunes gift cards and a class trip.

To learn more, we've set up a newslink to the right of this story.