Mind and Body: Kick tobacco’s butt this month

By Haley Tye

Clark County Health Department Intern

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nine out of 10 cigarette users tried smoking by age 18.

Every day, 3,000 kids younger than 18 try cigarettes for the first time.

Kick Butts Day is a national campaign that focuses on the prevention of tobacco product use. The campaign encourages youth involvement around their communities to help spread the word about the dangers of tobacco-related products.

Kick Butts Day is a nationwide event celebrated on Wednesday. The Clark County Health Department has partnered with several community organizations and businesses to plan activities this week.

The health department partnered with local veterinary clinics to spread the message of “Smoke Free Pets.” Studies have shown pets with owners who smoke are more likely to be diagnosed with respiratory issues and cancer than pets with owners who do not smoke.

“We regularly see a lot of pets that show multiple signs of respiratory problems suspected of being linked to secondhand smoke,” Dr. Jeff Castle of Clark County Veterinary Clinic said.  Brochures with more information on the “Smoke Free Pets” campaign can be found in local veterinary offices.

Students from Christview Christian Church, Phoenix Academy, George Rogers Clark High School BETA Club and Girl Scout Troop 491 will be participating in a Kick Butts Day activity called “Billions of Butts.” The students from these organizations will be cleaning up cigarette butts from popular places in the community such as GRC and College Park. The students will also be informed on the dangers of tobacco use and how to avoid using tobacco-related products in the future.

The Clark County Agency for Substance Abuse Policy Youth Network is also hosting a bookmark contest for the students at Baker Intermediate School.

The health department has also partnered with Rose Mary C. Brooks Place to teach a smoking cessation course to their employees. On Kick Butts Day, there will be a celebration, hosted by the residents of Rose Mary C. Brooks Place, to encourage and celebrate the employees in their decision to quit smoking.

There will be a Freedom From Smoking course offered by the Clark County Health Department beginning at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 14, at the Clark County Home Health office, 273 Shoppers Drive. The course will have a one-time fee of $5. You can call the health department for more information at 744-4482.

An informational booth containing brochures and resources on tobacco products and ways to quit will also be set up all day on Wednesday at Kroger.

Tobacco is the No. 1 cause of preventable death in the U.S., killing almost 500,000 people each year.

Join the fight against tobacco by participating in Kick Butts Day Wednesday. Help spread the word about Kick Butts Day on social media by using the hash tag #iKickButts.

Clark County Health Department supports families through a variety of programming and services, including: family planning, immunizations, WIC, HANDS, community education events, Cooper Clayton smoking cessation, etc. For more information on our services, please call 744-4482 or visit our website at clarkhealthdept.org.