Magician Steve Warburton came back to his familiar stomping grounds of Stettler to perform the Non-Smoker 4 Life show on Monday, March 21 for Stettler Elementary School (SES) students, grades 3 to 6.
Having lived in the town from 2001-03, Warburton was looking forward to come to Stettler and give back to the community.
“I am super excited because I’ve always loved Stettler and its just great to come back,” said Warburton. “I got the idea for the Non-Smoker 4 Life show about 10 years ago when I read a quote that said ‘nothing can be said in favour of nicotine.'”
That got Warburton thinking about all the damage that smoking does and also about all the illegal cigarettes that come into Canada.
“The trade-off, of course, is that none of the money from these cheaper illegal cigarettes go into our healthcare system to provide treatment for people who will get sick from smoking cigarettes,” explained Warburton. “Another inspiration was beating Jeffrey Wigand, on whom the 1999 movie the Insider is based, and I started to think that the best way to fight health concerns that come from smoking is to ensure that very few people smoke.”
According to Warburton if his show can discourage even a few kids from smoking, then he would think he did a good job.
“So the tricks I did at SES all had to do with smoking,” added Warburton. “They don’t really make magic tricks around smoking theme, so I had to adapt some of them.”
One of Warburton’s favourite magic tricks to do on stage is the cut-and-restored rope.
“I talk about how the rope is your lungs, and when you smoke cigarettes you damage your lungs, and then I cut the rope to illustrate it,” said Warburton. “When you decide not to smoke, you never damage your lungs, and that’s when I restore the rope and get my applause.”