Show Your Support for Kick Butts Day on March 16

Show Your Support for Kick Butts Day on March 16

Did you know that according to the Surgeon General, almost no one starts smoking after the age of 25? Or that in Minnesota, 30,400 high school students smoke, according to the Kick Butts Day website?

                                                               

Tobacco use among youth continues to be a huge concern. Nicotine is known to harm adolescent brain development, and youth can become dependent sooner than adults. That’s why Big Tobacco has created tobacco products that have candy flavors and look like candy, to specifically target our youth and those most vulnerable.

 

National Kick Butts Day on March 16, 2016, is a day organized by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids to give youth a voice about the concerns tobacco has on their lives and to speak out against Big Tobacco. Youth organizations are encouraged to conduct activities in their community to let the decision makers know the toll tobacco has on their lives.

 

You can show your support for tobacco control measures to protect our youth on Kick Butts Day — and every day:

  • Ensure our youth are not exposed to dangerous secondhand smoke by being very conscious of what is happening around you and where people may be smoking. 
  • Encourage your worksite, church, housing complex or other facility to consider a tobacco-free ordinance.
  • Work with our elected officials and support their efforts to keep tobacco products out of the hands of our youth by enacting strong ordinances for the sale and use of tobacco products. 

Why does it matter?

According to the Kick Butts website, each year 4,900 kids under the age of 18 become new daily smokers. Of those 102,000 will die prematurely.

 

Death from smoking is still the number one preventable death in the United States. Each year tobacco use kills more people than alcohol, AIDS, automobile accidents, illegal drugs, murders, and suicides combined — and thousands more die from other tobacco-related causes — such as fires caused by smoking (more than 1,000 deaths/year nationwide) and smokeless tobacco use.

 

Many young people are being exposed to nicotine, which is highly addictive, through e-cigarettes. According to the 2014 Minnesota Youth Tobacco Survey, an estimated 85,900 Minnesota public school students in grades 6-12 have tried e-cigarettes, and 38,400 reported using them in the past 30 days.

 

Secondhand smoke is also a significant problem. Success in reducing secondhand smoke exposure to our youth has decreased significantly in recent years. Nearly 30 percent of fifth-graders and 40 percent of eleventh-graders report being exposed to secondhand smoke within the last seven days. Exposure to secondhand smoke is more likely to be reported by youth with asthma than those without asthma, and youth cite parks or an outdoor location as the place where they are most often exposed to secondhand smoke.

 

Let’s work together to protect the future of our most precious resource — our children — from a preventable premature death.  

In 2014, students from Minnesota Valley Lutheran posed by their creative display of the number 102,000, which represents the number of Minnesota’s young people — more than four times the total population of Brown County — that will die prematurely as a result of smoking.