State Leaders Urged to Support Tobacco Prevention Initiatives
WASHINGTON, March 15, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Kids in Indiana 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.
- Students at Elwood Community High School will participate in a flash mob, banner competition and other activities to raise awareness about the dangers of smoking. In one of the activities, students will run in place while breathing through a straw to simulate the effects that smoking has on the respiratory system. Time: 11 AM. Location: 1137 N. 19th Street, Elwood. Contact: Elizabeth Wagner (765) 552-9854 x1217.
- Members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Wayne County in Richmond will participate in a number of after-school activities to learn about the dangerous effects of smoking. The participants will learn what is in a cigarette and participate in hands-on activities such as making healthy alternatives to spit tobacco. Time: 4:15 PM. Location: Richard E. Jeffers Boys & Girls Club, 1717 S. L Street, Richmond. Contact: Stacey Steele (765) 962-6922.
- Area youth in Bedford will place 28 tombstones around the Bedford Courthouse to represent the 28 Hoosiers who die every day from tobacco use. There will be an opening and closing ceremony with local public officials on hand. Time: 4 PM. Location: 916 15th Street, Bedford. Contact: Karin DuBois (812) 340-6808.
- Members of Voice at the Boys & Girls Club in Warren will participate in a "Billions of Butts" activity as part of Kick Butts Day. The students will rid the school grounds of cigarette butts and other tobacco paraphernalia in an effort to change the school's policy from smoke-free to tobacco-free on school property. Time: 4 PM. Location: 1063 E. 900 S., Warren. Contact: Deidre Gray (260) 388-5727.