No Smoking Youth Club celebrates Chinese New Year

January 31, 2008

The No Smoking Youth Club held a Chinese New Year celebration for the club's monthly Family and Friends Day gathering.

Club members decided to hold the celebration in January because their theme for February will be black history.

The traditional Chinese New Year is observed this year on Feb. 7. The youth club hold's monthly gatherings where Club members can invite friends and family members to share in the different activities they plan, including learning about smoking prevention and the dangers of secondhand smoke.

Club members and guests were reminded of the upcoming enforcement of Maryland's Clean Air Act, which will ban smoking in public places in Maryland including bars and private clubs starting Feb. 1.

Youth club members gave oral presentations on information they researched about the Chinese New Year and Lunar New Year celebration and traditions.


No Smoking Youth Club member Jiong Tansey told youth club members and guests about a Chinese tradition during the New Year celebration. The tradition is that young people greet older people and bow with their hands folded and say the the phrase "Gong Xi Fa Cai" (pronounce Gong Chee Fa Cha) or "Xin Nian Hao" (pronounced Chee Nee Ha) and the older people give the younger greeter a red envelope filled with money. Jiong said during one Chinese New Year when he was in China, he received more than $1,000 in red envelopes.

Adult leader Andy Smith spoke to youth club members during the gathering and shared information about Asian-American health. Smith told those gathered that Asian-Americans have a high prevalence for chronic pulmonary diseases and other smoking-related illnesses as well as other high risk factors for hepatitis B, tuberculosis and liver disease.

Another threat to Asian- American health is infrequent medical visits which may be due to language and cultural barriers. Smith said that the youth club members and guests could help change the pattern of infrequent medical visits. Jiong Tansey asked "how." Smith told Jiong and others they can hand out "Get It Checked!" brochures to older Asian- Americans. The brochure has tables listing checkup and screening guidelines for men and women. Jiong said that he would ask his mother to help him hand out the brochures to her friends.

Youth club members and guests concluded the celebration with a meal of American-Chinese food. The youth leaders surprised guests and members telling them everyone had to try to use chopsticks to eat the meal. Club members, parents and other guests all took on the task, but some eventually turned to using soup spoons after braving the use of the chopsticks.

For more information about the No Smoking Youth Club or for free copies of the "Get It Checked!" brochure, call 301-393-9290 or e-mail:

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