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Puppet Show FAQs

What is the “Too Cool to Smoke” puppet show?
“Too Cool to Smoke” is a tobacco awareness program that educates children about the dangers of smoking and teaches them about cancer prevention. “Too Cool to Smoke” is a program of Kids on the Block” Inc., which originated in 1977.

When did MD Anderson launch the “Too Cool to Smoke” puppet program?
“Too Cool to Smoke” was launched in January 2004 with a performance to students at Hobby Elementary School in H.I.S.D.

Is there a charge for the puppets to perform?
No, the “Too Cool to Smoke” puppet show is a free service. However, each site is required to complete at least one performance evaluation.

Where do the puppet shows take place?
The shows primarily take place at schools, parks, daycare centers, recreation and community centers, and libraries.

What is the goal of “Too Cool To Smoke?”
The program’s goal is to reach children before they are confronted with the pressure to smoke and to equip them with the skills needed to say no to tobacco and to make healthy lifestyle choices.

What age group does “Too Cool To Smoke” reach?
The program targets children in kindergarten to 4th grade, ages 5 to 9.

Will the children have the opportunity to ask questions after the show?
Yes. Each performance includes a question and answer period during which members of the audience ask questions directly to the puppet characters. During this time, myths and misconceptions about smoking are replaced with facts and sensitivity.

What kind of puppets are used?
The “Too Cool to Smoke” program uses hand and rod puppets. This means that one hand works the mouth of the puppet and the other hand manipulates the rod for gestures.

What size are the puppets?
The puppets are three to four feet tall.

How are the tobacco messages delivered?
A written and tested script with tobacco awareness messages is delivered  by using a type of Japanese puppetry known as Bunraku, a style that is extremely effective in creating an atmosphere where children ages five to nine can learn about tobacco.

On average, how many puppet shows are done each week?
Two to four puppet shows are done each week.

What is “Kids on the Block?”
Kids on the Block, Inc., is a organization that offers puppet shows on disabilities, medical differences and substance abuse resistance.

Does the “Kids on the Block” program exist only in Texas?
No. The Kids on the Block” program exists in 50 states and in more than 30 countries with script material and curriculums available in many languages.

© 2014 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center