State Leaders Urged to Support Tobacco Prevention Initiatives
WASHINGTON, March 15, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Kids in North Dakota 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 from TGU Towner School in Towner will participate in a "white-out" event, recognizing the estimated 800 people who will die from tobacco-related diseases in North Dakota this year. They'll attend classes wearing white t-shirts and with their faces painted white. Time: 8:30 AM. Location: 302 2 nd Street SE, Towner. Contact: Mary Hanretty (701) 537-3099.
- The Family Career Community Leaders of America will sponsor various anti-tobacco activities at Kidder County Steele Elementary including a Kick Butts kickball game, a "What's in a Cigarette?" display, and informational presentations to the 6 th grade class. Time: 8:30 AM. Location: 101 4th Street SE, Steele. Contact: Antoinette Heier (701) 475-2243.