State Leaders Urged to Support Tobacco Prevention Initiatives
WASHINGTON, March 15, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Kids in California will stand up against tobacco on March 20 as they join thousands of young people nationwide for the 18 th annual Kick Butts Day. More than 1,200 events are planned across the United States. (See below for a list of local events.)
Organized by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and sponsored by United Health Foundation, Kick Butts Day is an annual celebration of youth leadership and activism in the fight against tobacco use. On Kick Butts Day, youth will encourage their peers to stay tobacco-free. They will also educate their communities about the dangers of tobacco and the tobacco industry's harmful marketing practices.This year on Kick Butts Day, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is highlighting the tobacco industry's products and marketing that entice kids to use tobacco. According to the Federal Trade Commission, tobacco companies spend $8.5 billion a year – nearly $1 million each hour – to market cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products. This marketing has an impact on kids:
- While the U.S. has greatly reduced youth smoking, 18.1 percent of high school students still smoke, and nearly 1,000 kids become regular smokers each day. Among youth smokers, 86 percent prefer Marlboro, Newport and Camel, which are the three most heavily advertised cigarette brands, according to the government's National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
- Tobacco companies have also introduced new products that appeal to kids, including cheap, sweet, colorfully-packaged small cigars that look just like cigarettes. Many cigars come in fruit and candy flavors such as strawberry, vanilla, peach and apple.
- In a 2012 report, the U.S. Surgeon General concluded that tobacco marketing causes kids to start and continue using tobacco products.
- The StarVista afterschool program, Healthy Sequoia, will host a tobacco retail nation booth in at Sequoia's Health Fair in Redwood City . Students will showcase the large amount of tobacco retailers in their community. Time: 11 AM. Location: 1201 Brewster Avenue, Redwood City. Contact: Michael Johansen (650) 369-1411 ext. 6492.
- Abraham Lincoln High School Leadership Take Action Campaign students in Los Angeles will host an anti-tobacco rally, distribute information about what's in a cigarette and collect tobacco-free pledges from students. Time: 11:30 AM. Location: Abraham Lincoln High School, 3501 N. Broadway Street, Los Angeles. Contact: Lupe Ramirez and Jessica Cabral (323) 441-4614.
- High School public health youth interns and Students Together Against Alcohol 'N Drugs (STAAND) will encourage youth at the La Mesa Boys and Girls Club Teen Center to fight back against Big Tobacco's influence on their peers. Activities include skits, "What's in a Cigarette?!" displays and a graffiti pledge wall. Time: 3:30 PM. Location: 7775 Junior High Drive, La Mesa. Contact: Enrique De La Cruz (619) 442-2727 x 111.
- On March 23, students from Majority Rules in Lucerne Valley will hand out tobacco information at Lucerne Valley Market. The booth will display cigarette butts and have 'Ciggy Butts' and 'The Reaper' walking around the market. Time: 11 AM. Location: 32946 State Highway 18, Lucerne Valley. Contact: Karol Thompson (760) 927-5904.