Today, March 21, 2012, is the 17th Annual Kick Butts Day, which is organized by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids & sponsored by the United Health Foundation. More than 1,100 events are planned across the Country, including five right here in the “Healthiest State” of Vermont, to encourage kids to stay tobacco-free and to help communities steer clear from tobacco dangers.
According to a fresh report by the U.S. Surgeon General, tobacco use among youth is a “pediatric epidemic.” Kick Butts Day is a day to bring attention to this major health issue facing today’s youth. Here are some of the findings in that report:
- While the high school smoking rate has been cut nearly in half since the mid-1990s, more than 3.6 million middle and high school students still smoke.
- In addition to long-term consequence such as cancer and heart disease, tobacco use immediately harms the health of youth and young adults. Smoking quickly causes nicotine addiction, cardiovascular damage, slower lung growth and shortness of breath.
- Tobacco marketing causes kids to start and continue using tobacco products. Tobacco companies spend more than $10 billion a year – more than $1 million an hour – to advertise and promote their products.
- Science and experience have identified proven strategies to reduce youth tobacco use. These include mass media campaigns, increasing the price of cigarettes through higher tobacco taxes, smoke-free policies and school and community prevention programs.
To get involved in this important initiative today or anytime throughout the year, or to learn more about Kick Butts Day 2012 events, click here.
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