In this version, Samantha the magenta skunk has tried smoking and she can no longer run as fast or keep up with her friends (the Panda and Penguin). She has turned green and stays that way until her friends and Solomon the magic parrot help her understand how smoking anything can hurt her lungs and her ability to get Os (oxygen) to her muscles. This version of Samantha Skunk has an older and more sophisticated message than the original Smoking Stinks version. Instead of emphasizing that “smoking stinks” – the message is that avoiding smoking results in better social connections with friends, better athletic ability and better health in an immediate context kids can relate to. Cancer, heart disease, and other health
isks that are long term, like COPD, are not mentioned in the story. Specific messages in the script include:
- Os are tiny Oxygen molecules – which are in the air;
- You need Os (oxygen) to exercise and play.
- Smoking anything makes it hard to get your Os.
- Smoking makes you slower because the Os can’t get to the muscles as well;
- Smoking hurts your body and prevents you from running and playing as well.
- Smoking may make it hard to keep up with your friends.
- Smoking is hard to quit once you start; smokers are not bad people. If someone you love smokes, don’t be mean to them. Be supportive and helpful.The Love Your Os version uses seven students to teach the lesson to an audience: two narrators; a magenta skunk and a green skunk; and the Panda, Penguin and Parrot characters. An 8th student can be used to display the large plastic boards (that have the text of the script on them) from behind the audience – or that role can be performed by an adult.This version is intended to be presented to audiences age 6-8 (first or second grade). Third grade would be the upper limit for this presentation. We deliver it in Dover in 2nd grade as an assembly of about 100 students.