State Leaders Urged to Support Tobacco Prevention Initiatives
WASHINGTON, March 15, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Kids in Kentucky 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.
- Members of Barren County High School's SADD Chapter in Glasgow will visit 9 th grade classrooms and give a "Don't be a Spithead" presentation on tobacco prevention with an emphasis on chewing tobacco usage. Time: 12:20 PM. Location: 505 Trojan Trail, Glasgow. Contact: Brenda Chaney (270) 629-5509.
- Members of ATI: Against the Influence group at Mt. Washington Middle School in Mt. Washington will display household ingredients found in a cigarette at lunch. After lunch, the group will visit Crossroads Elementary School to share the display and teach 5 th grade students about tobacco issues including secondhand smoke. Location: 269 Water Street, Mt. Washington. Contact: Megan Hatter (502) 869-5212.
- Students from Bourbon County and Paris Independent School Districts in Paris will display 13 hearts on the Courthouse Lawn to represent the 13 heart attacks per year that could be prevented in the county with a comprehensive smoke-free workplace ordinance. Throughout the month, students have also presented these hearts and reasons why the community should have a smoke-free ordinance to the Board of Health and County Magistrates. Time: 12:30 PM. Location: 301 Main Street, Paris. Contact: Cyndi Steele (859) 987-1915.