Local anti-smoking group honoured

  • Feb. 22, 2012 4:01 p.m.

The cast of Butt Ugly in Central Alberta has won the 2012 Barb Tarbox Award for Youth and Young Adults at the Alberta Tobacco Stakeholders Conference in Edmonton.

“It’s a great honour for Butt Ugly to receive this kind of provincial recognition from Alberta Health Services for the work we do in Central Alberta,” said Sandra Manning, chair of the Butt Ugly program board of directors.

Butt Ugly is an award-winning program that uses a drama production format to educate students in Grades 6 and 7 about the dangers of tobacco use. Since its inception in 1995, Butt Ugly has covered a wide area in Central Alberta, serving schools in Red Deer and rural schools in Central Alberta, reaching over 40,000 middle school students.

“I feel strongly that this program has made a difference to our students over the last three years. In fact, a recent survey of our students revealed that smoking was almost non-existent among our students. I think the Butt Ugly program is a big part of our students’ positive choice regarding this habit,” said Stu Henry, superintendent of Red Deer Public Schools.

Barb Tarbox was diagnosed with lung cancer in September 2002 at the age of 41, after smoking since Grade 7. In a remarkably sort amount of time, cancers spread to almost every part of her body, including her brain and bones, and even resting on her aorta.

While some people would lie down and wait for death to arrive, Tarbox decided to share her tobacco story with Alberta’s youth in the hopes of persuading them to quit – or not to start in the first place. She traveled to schools across Canada and spoke to the media, using her own cancer-wracked body to tell of the dangers of smoking.

After speaking at one junior high, Tarbox received 750 letters from students. She had many teenagers hand over their packs of cigarettes.

And parents also vowed to quit to save their children from the same lonely fate her daughter would face.

Her own mother was also diagnosed with the same stage-four terminal cancer in the 1980s and at the time, Tarbox was warned the same fate would await her if she continued to smoke. It’s a message she tried to pass on in her talks to school groups.

Doctors did not expect Tarbox to live beyond Christmas 2002, she battled the disease to the end. She made her last public appearance on April 17, 2003, when she spoke to a group of junior and senior high school students in Edmonton.

By April 28, she checked herself into hospital, unable to walk or eat on her own.

She died on May 18, 2003 at the age of 42, leaving husband Pat and daughter Mackenzie.

To honour and thank Tarbox for her remarkable dedication, and to continue her legacy, Alberta Health Services has established the Barb Tarbox Awards of Excellence in Tobacco Reduction. The awards recognize Alberta individuals, non-profit groups and businesses that have made a significant impact in the area of tobacco prevention, cessation, reduction or protection from second-hand smoke.

Previous awards presented to Butt Ugly include The Alberta Association of Registered Nurses (now CARNA); 2001 Partner in Health, The Alberta Lung Association; 2002 Excellence in Lung Health, Red Deer Public School District; 2004 Way to Go Award, Red Deer College; 2005 International Award of Excellence in Education and Alberta Public Health Association; 2006 Disease and Injury Prevention.


Just Posted

City council supports $25,000 for Downtown Community Development Committee

Funding supports stakeholders in developing programs enhancing downtown safety

Red Deer’s Gord Bontje gives $500,000 to A Better World

Co-owner of Laebon Homes gives the gift to celebrate 60th birthday

Tyler Steenbergen etches his name into Canadian hockey history

Sylvan Lake native scores huge tournament-winner at World Juniors

WATCH: Red Deer Entertainment Awards honours Red Deer’s burgeoning talent

The awards looks to become more inclusive of the entire entertainment scene in year three

JoJo Mason heads to Red Deer’s Bo’s Jan. 29th

Mason will be performing tunes from his debut album Both Sides Of The Bar

Red Deerians can enjoy free skating Jan. 13th at the new Servus Arena

The official opening of the Servus Arena takes place this weekend

Ontario man charged with selling Canadian’s usernames and passwords

Ontario man ran site that peddled billions of pieces of personal data: RCMP

Hawaii missile-alert mistake feeds doubts about a real emergency

A push alert that warned of an incoming ballistic missile to Hawaii and sent residents into a full-blown panic was a mistake

Sears Canada closes its final stores

The long-time staple of Canada’s retail landscape declared bankruptcy last year

‘Mega trends’ set to alter economy, society, security

A top-secret document by Canada’s spy agency explores the so-called “mega trends” on its radar

Chronic pain patients need options beyond opioids: B.C. advocate

People who live with chronic pain need options beyond prescription opioids, and it’s up to the BC government to provide more services

East coast begins massive cleanup after downpours knock out roads, power

Heavy rain flooded the area on Saturday floating large ice onto the road and dropping temperatures then froze the water overnight into Sunday morning.

Comedian Aziz Ansari responds to allegations

Ansari has responded to allegations of sexual misconduct by a woman he dated in 2017

North Korean orchestra, maybe joint hockey team at Olympics

Officials from the Koreas met Monday to work out details about North Korea’s plan to send an art troupe to the South during next month’s Winter Olympics

Most Read