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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Display Of 820 Pairs Of Shoes Warns Of Secondhand Smoke Danger

An artist's display of 820 pairs of shoes represents the number of Alabamians who die each year as a result of secondhand cheap cigarettes smoke. Exposure to secondhand smoke cigarettes causes the death of more than 800 people in Alabama annually, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

The group SmokeFree Alabama launched a campaign called 820 Souls by unveiling the display of shoes at Railroad Park on Wednesday. Local artist Michael Curtis created a visual display of 820 pairs of shoes to bring home the number of people who are fatally affected by secondhand smoke. He said he wanted visitors to be overwhelmed by the size of the death count.

"Take in the amount. Once again, I talk about the scale of how big 820 people are. It's obvious it's pretty large. Walking through this you can sense that," he said.

The shoes featured in the display were donated by community leaders, celebrities and elected officials. Ruben Studdard donated a pair of blue Pumas and Bo Bice contributed an autographed pair of his shoes. Pro football player Bobby Humphrey, Secretary of State Beth Chapman, and Lieutenant Governor Kay Ivey also donated a pair of shoes to the cause. The display will tour various parts of Jefferson County for the next five months. After the tour, the shoes will be donated to tornado victims.

Secretary of State Beth Chapmandelivered the keynote address for the event. Representatives from the American Lung Association, American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association will also share personal stories of how they have been affected by secondhand smoke. The event will close with remarks from Dr. John Anderson from the Alabama Allergy and Asthma Center.

Notice of the day: West from this source.
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