Secondary School to ‘Kick Butts’

Bill San Antonio

 Students at Manhasset Secondary School will participate in the 18th annual Kick Butts Day, which celebrates youth leadership in anti-tobacco activism.

The middle school’s science department will team up with the Tobacco Action Coalition of Long Island, the Manhasset Community Coalition Against Substance Abuse Youth Committee and the Molloy College Nursing Program Health Fair on March 22 to learn about the dangers of cigarettes, chewing tobacco and hookah.

The Kick Butts events program is organized by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and sponsored by the United Health Foundation. 

According to a release issued by the event’s organizers, more than 1,200 events are planned across America, beginning on March 20.

“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. “It’s also a chance for elected leaders to commit to protecting kids from tobacco through policies such as tobacco taxes, smoke-free laws and prevention programs. We hope that legislators will listen to their young constituents and implement these proven solutions to reduce tobacco use and save lives.”

Tobacco use is the No. 1 cause of preventable death in the United States, killing more than 400,000 people and costing $96 billion in health care bills each year, according to the release

Nearly 1,000 kids become regular smokers every day, the release said. While youth smoking in the United States has decreased, 11.9 percent of high school students in New York smoke.

The U.S. Surgeon General reported in 2012 that tobacco marketing causes kids to start and continue using tobacco products.

According to the government’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the three most popular cigarette brands among youth smokers are Marlboro, Newport and Camel, the three most heavily-advertised brands.

Kick Butts Day, the release said, allows kids to “turn the tables” against tobacco marketing through events like ‘They put WHAT in a cigarette?’ demonstrations, health fairs and rallies at state capitols. 

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