2013-03-16 / News

Kick Butts Day is March 20

COLUMBUS – Next Wednesday, March 20, is Kick Butts Day (KBD), a national day of activism that encourages youth to speak up and take action against tobacco use.

Kick Butts Day is organized by the Campaign for Tobacco- Free Kids and sponsored by the United Health Foundation. Over 1,000 school and community KBD events will be held this year. These events aim to:

• Raise awareness of the tobacco use problem in their state or community. Twenty-one percent of Ohio high school students smoke. Each year in Ohio, 16,900 students under 18 become new daily smokers.

• Encourage youth to reject deceptive tobacco marketing. The tobacco industry spends $23 million each day on marketing in the U.S. One-third of underage experimentation can be attributed to tobacco company advertising.

• Urge elected officials to take action to protect kids from tobacco. Effective strategies to reduce youth tobacco use include higher taxes on all tobacco products, tobacco-free laws and FDA regulation of all tobacco products. The tobacco industry contributes over $1.5 million annually to federal political candidates, political parties and political action committees (PACS) to prevent these efforts. We must remind our legislators that this is an important issue to Ohioans.

Students from across the state are invited to Columbus on March 20th to speak with legislators and stand up to big tobacco. This year’s theme is “Don’t be a Tobacco Zombie”. Money is available to help with transportation costs. For more information or to register, please visit www.ohiolung.org.

For more KBD ideas, please visit www.kickbuttsday.org.

Another great way to celebrate this day is to quit using tobacco or help others quit. Quitting at any age is beneficial. Within the first 20 minutes of quitting, the healing process begins.

To quit, contact the Ohio Tobacco Quit Line at 1-800-QUITNOW or Licking Memorial Health Systems’ Quit for Your Health program at 740-348- 7848.

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