North Dakota Kids Will ‘Kick Butts’ on March 19
State Leaders Urged to Support Tobacco Prevention Initiatives
WASHINGTON, March 13, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Kids in North Dakota 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 details on the event in Bismark.)
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 14,000 children in North Dakota 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.”
In North Dakota alone, tobacco use claims 800 lives and costs $326 million in health care bills each year. Currently, 19.4 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.
In North Dakota on March 19, students in the Bismarck area will educate their peers about e-cigarettes, and encourage their lawmakers to pass an age restriction on e-cigarettes, banning the sale of the new tobacco products to youth under the age of 18. Time: 9 AM. Location: 500 E. Front Avenue, Bismarck. Contact: Susan Kahler (701) 335-1595.
SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids