Ohio Kids Will ‘Kick Butts’ on March 19
State Leaders Urged to Support Tobacco Prevention Initiatives
WASHINGTON, March 13, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Kids in Ohio will stand up against tobacco on March 19 as they join thousands of young people nationwide for the 19(th) annual Kick Butts Day. More than 1,400 events are planned across the nation. (See below for a list of Ohio events.)
Organized by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Kick Butts Day is an annual celebration of youth leadership and activism in the fight against tobacco. On Kick Butts Day, youth will encourage their peers to stay tobacco-free and educate their communities about the tobacco industry’s harmful marketing practices.
This year, Kick Butts Day comes as new information reaffirms the urgent need for action. The United States is marking the 50(th) anniversary of the first Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health, and a new Surgeon General’s report released in January found that smoking is even more hazardous than previously thought. Key findings of the report include:
-- Each year, smoking kills 480,000 people in the U.S. and costs the nation at least $289 billion in health care bills and other economic losses. -- Without urgent action to reduce smoking, 5.6 million U.S. children alive today will die prematurely from smoking-caused disease. That includes 259,000 children in Ohio alone. -- Tobacco marketing causes kids to start and continue using tobacco products.
Nationwide, tobacco companies spend $8.8 billion a year – one million dollars each hour – to market cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products. In particular, tobacco companies target youth with magazine ads, store ads and discounts, and fruit- and candy-flavored small cigars that look just like cigarettes.
“On Kick Butts Day, kids will stand up and reject Big Tobacco’s manipulative marketing,” said Matthew L. Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. “Elected officials must stand with them by supporting proven measures to protect kids from tobacco addiction, including tobacco taxes, smoke-free laws and prevention programs. On the 50(th) anniversary of the first Surgeon General’s report, we need bold action to create a tobacco-free generation and end the tobacco epidemic for good.”
Health advocates in Ohio are urging leaders to raise the tobacco tax immediately by $1.50 and dedicate a portion of the revenue to tobacco prevention and cessation programs that are proven to prevent kids from smoking and help smokers quit.
In Ohio alone, tobacco use claims 17,700 lives and costs $5.6 billion in health care bills each year. Currently, 21.1 percent of the state’s high school students smoke.
On Kick Butts Day, kids turn the tables on Big Tobacco in creative ways, with events that range from small classroom activities about the harmful ingredients in cigarettes to large rallies at state capitols.
March 19 activities in Ohio include:
Students of Monroe Central High School in Woodsfield will host a variety of activities to raise awareness of the deadly effects of tobacco use. Time: 9:30 AM. Location: 6601 Ohio 78, Woodsfield. Contact: Carol Hehr (740) 472-1677 ext. 203.
East End Community Services’ Youth Center will display tombstones around the Center to represent the deadly consequences of tobacco use. Youth will also participate in the Tobacco Retailer Nation program by researching the number of available places to purchase tobacco products in the city. Time: 2 PM. Location: 624 Xenia Avenue, Dayton. Contact: Emily Riggs (937) 259-1898.
Students of Shawnee State University will host a community event featuring a presentation with pig lungs and a secondhand smoke demonstration to raise awareness about the dangers of smoking. Time: 9:30 AM. Location: 940 2(nd) Street, Portsmouth. Contact: Sherry Roffe (740) 285-2872.
The Center for Prevention Services at Pathways of Central Ohio will provide all 28 elementary schools in Licking County with a curriculum-based “How-To” guide on how to implement tobacco-free activities in their buildings. This is part of the Center’s public awareness campaign aimed at educating the county about the harmful effects of smoking and its smoking cessation services. Time: 3:30 PM. Location: 1627 Bryn Mawr Drive, Newark. Contact: Bobby Persinger (740) 345-6166.
Community Action for Capable Youth (CACY) will host a “Kick Butts with Art” for 3(rd)-through 12(th)-grade students. Winners will be announced and selected to display their art at a community showing. Time: 4 PM. Location: Richland County Longview Center, 1495 W. Longview Avenue, Mansfield. Contact: Tracee Anderson (419) 774-5683.
For a full list of Kick Butts Day events in Ohio, visit http://www.kickbuttsday.org/map. Additional information about tobacco, including state-by-state statistics, can be found at www.tobaccofreekids.org.
SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids