Kick Butts Day focuses on curbing smoking rates

Published 9:24 am Thursday, March 14, 2019

By Angela Bereznak

Clark County Health Department

Kick Butts Day is a national day of activism that empowers youth to stand out, speak up and seize control against Big Tobacco.

Email newsletter signup

This year, Kick Butts Day is March 20. The first Kick Butts Day was held in 1996 by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

Every day, more than 3,000 young people under 18 try smoking for the first time, and 700 young people become new regular, daily smokers.

Tobacco use is still the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S., killing more than 480,000 people every year. Smoking can lead to disease and disability and harms nearly every organ of the body. Additionally, worldwide, tobacco causes almost 6 million deaths per year.

Smoking causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). COPD includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

E-cigarette usage is also on the rise. In 2018, more than 3.6 million U.S. middle and high school students used e-cigarettes.

E-cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco among school-aged children. Additionally, in the U.S., adolescents are more likely to use e-cigarettes than adults are.

There is a misconception e-cigarettes are harmless.

The truth is, e-cigarette aerosol can contain harmful substances such as nicotine, lead, formaldehyde and other carcinogens.

E-cigarette liquid marketed as “no nicotine” can still contain nicotine.

E-cigarettes are not yet regulated. Therefore, advertising companies can market e-cigarettes; however, they want to. E-cigarettes come in many forms.

The most popular e-cigarette among middle and high school students is the Juul. The Juul looks like a USB flash drive and has many flavors that mimic the smell of gum or candy; these flavors include crème brulée, mango, mint and others.

By getting involved in Kick Butts Day and other activities, America’s youth can raise awareness about the tobacco problem, encourage peers to be tobacco-free and support effective solutions to reduce tobacco use.

Teachers, youth leaders and health advocates can organize events that:

— Raise awareness of the problem of tobacco use in their state or community;

— Encourage youth to reject the tobacco industry’s deceptive marketing and stay tobacco-free.

— Urge elected officials to take action to protect kids from tobacco.

The Clark County Health Department is partnering with George Rogers Clark High School and Phoenix Academy.

At both schools, health department staff, school staff and students will pick up tobacco-related products around the campuses of GRC, Phoenix Academy and Campbell Junior High School.

The event at GRC will be held directly after school March 18, and the event at Phoenix and Campbell will be at 10 a.m. March 19.

All participants will wear T-shirts that support Kick Butts Day. The CCHD hopes to expand this event to other schools in 2020.

Clark County Health Department provides programs for the entire family, including WIC, HANDS, family planning, well child care/immunizations and home health care. For more information on services, call 859/744-4482 or visit our website