Kick Butts Day!

 

Thousands of students all over Connecticut will stand up in the fight against tobacco on March 21st, 2012, in over 1,100 events across the nation, for the 17th annual Kick Butts Day. This day is a celebration of youth leadership and activism in the fight against tobacco use where students encourage their peers to stay tobacco-free and educate their communities about the dangers of tobacco and the tobacco industry’s harmful marketing practices.

 

Thousands of students all over Connecticut will stand up in the fight against tobacco on March 21st, 2012, in over 1,100 events across the nation, for the 17th annual Kick Butts Day. This day is a celebration of youth leadership and activism in the fight against tobacco use where students encourage their peers to stay tobacco-free and educate their communities about the dangers of tobacco and the tobacco industry’s harmful marketing practices.

On Kick Butts Day, kids turn the tables on Big Tobacco with events that range from "They put WHAT in a cigarette?" demonstrations to health fairs to rallies at state capitols. At our very own Southington school, DePaolo Middle School, students surrounded the sports field with cups decorated with tobacco-free messages, as a reminder for students to live tobacco-free on March 19th.  

More information and staggering, encouraging statistics from the Kick Butts Day website include: “This year, Kick Butts Day comes just after a new report by the U.S. Surgeon General found that while the nation has made tremendous progress in reducing youth smoking, youth tobacco use remains a "pediatric epidemic" that requires urgent action. The Surgeon General's report reached the following conclusions:

  • While the high school smoking rate has been cut nearly in half since the mid-1990s, more than 3.6 million middle and high school students still smoke.
  • In addition to long-term consequence such as cancer and heart disease, tobacco use immediately harms the health of youth and young adults. Smoking quickly causes nicotine addiction, cardiovascular damage, slower lung growth and shortness of breath.
  • Tobacco marketing causes kids to start and continue using tobacco products. Tobacco companies spend more than $10 billion a year – more than $1 million an hour – to advertise and promote their products.
  • Science and experience have identified proven strategies to reduce youth tobacco use. These include mass media campaigns, increasing the price of cigarettes through higher tobacco taxes, smoke-free policies and school and community prevention programs.

"Kids are sending two powerful messages on Kick Butts Day: They want the tobacco companies to stop targeting them, and they want elected leaders to protect them from tobacco," said Matthew L. Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. "We know how to win the fight against tobacco. Elected officials across the nation should support these proven solutions, including higher tobacco taxes, strong smoke-free laws and well-funded tobacco prevention programs."

Tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable death in the United States, killing more than 400,000 people and costing $96 billion in health care bills each year. Nationally, 19.5 percent of high school students still smoke, and another 1,000 kids become regular smokers every day.

In Connecticut, tobacco use claims 4,700 lives and costs $1.63 billion in health care bills each year. Currently, 15.3 percent of the state's high school students smoke.”

For more information on this annual campaign, please visit www.kickbuttsday.org/

Excellent work DePaolo – keep up the amazing fight against tobacco. STEPS is proud of all of you!