"Smoke's No Joke" - New Madrid

New Madrid (pronounced New MA-drid, short a as in "mad") is a City and county located in the Bootheel of Missouri. The county was organized in 1812 and named for the district located in the region during Spanish rule, Nuevo Madrid, after Madrid, Spain. As of last census, the county population was 19,760 and its county seat, New Madrid has a population of 3,334.

The area is most famous for being the site of a series of over 1,000 earthquakes in 1811 and 1812, ranging up to approximately magnitude 8 or 9, the most powerful non-subduction zone earthquake recorded in the United States. The earthquake was felt as far away as the East Coast. The city also remembered as being the nearby location for the Mississippi River military engagement, the Battle of Island Number Ten, during the Civil War.

New Madrid School, grades 7-12, has 171 students and the Principal is John Garner. The youth group that led the no smoking campaign was the Leadership Academy supported by Chris Hodges, the sponsor. This group led the entire school through a “Smokes No Joke!” campaign which included the slogan contest, presentations to the elementary schools in the district; a joke contest with all ages, and a PSA. The entire staff, including cooks and janitors, on the presentation day wore a “smoke’s no joke” t shirt and they were handed out as prizes for the winners of the joke contest. They also handed out factual pamphlets to all the students to increase awareness. The PSA was a series of shots of youth playing sports and quoting the Smoke’s no Joke in all of their sporting events.

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