EDISON — Shruti Nadkarni of Edison, a 2012 graduate of The Wardlaw-Hartridge School in Edison and a freshman in the Kean University/Drexel University BSMD Program, returned to her alma mater to deliver an enlightening presentation called Tar Wars with a Twist to the fourth grade health class on Tuesday, Jan. 22.
The presentation, which Nadkarni made to fourth graders last year when she was a high school senior, is designed to educate students on the dangers of smoking and tobacco use. Students discussed health dangers such as cancer and high blood pressure and other negative effects of smoking including bad teeth, bad breath and gum disease. They explored the many reasons people use tobacco including peer pressure, nicotine addiction, image, weight loss and advertising.
Nadkarni led the students in some interactive activities, including a math exercise in which the students calculated how much money smokers spend on cigarettes in a week, month and year if they purchase one pack per day. The students then discussed the many things they could purchase with those amounts of money.
She later handed straws to the students for another activity, which was used to show students how difficult it is for a smoker to breathe during simple activities. Students had to hold their noses and breathe through the straw, while jogging in place for 15 seconds. Nadkarni then asked how they felt and was breathing a problem.
Nadkarni concluded with a poster contest and information for each student to participate. The winner of this national contest will go to Washington D.C.