WASHINGTON, May 1, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Magi Linscott, 16, of Pace, Florida, has been named the Southern Region Youth Advocate of the Year by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids for her leadership in the fight against tobacco. Magi will be honored at a gala in the nation's capital on Thursday (May 2) along with a national winner, three other regional winners, a group winner and a military winner.
Magi is a junior at Pace High School. After tobacco use caused her grandmother's death, Magi joined SWAT (Students Working against Tobacco) during her freshman year and is now an officer on the organization's statewide Youth Advocacy Board.
Magi has worked to get local governments in her county to pass resolutions opposing the sale of candy-flavored tobacco, convincing all but one city to adopt such resolutions. She has met with state legislators to speak about her advocacy work and involvement in SWAT and has led five county trainings, reaching over 200 youth.
Through her involvement in the Youth Advocacy Board, Magi has designed several thought-provoking activities for her peers, including one called "The Deadly Package" that focuses on how the design, colors and shape of tobacco products target specific demographics.
More than 400 public health, political, civic and business leaders will attend the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids' 17th annual gala in Washington, D.C., to recognize these young leaders. The winners will receive educational scholarships and grants to continue their prevention efforts. They will also serve as ambassadors for Tobacco-Free Kids.
"We are thrilled to honor Magi as one of our Youth Advocates of the Year," said Matthew L. Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. "Young leaders like Magi bring energy, passion and creativity to our movement and inspire all of us to win the fight against the number one cause of preventable death."
In Florida, 10.1 percent of high school students smoke. Every year, 21,300 kids become daily smokers, and tobacco use kills 28,600 Floridians and costs the state $6.3 billion in health care bills. Nationally, tobacco use kills more than 400,000 people and costs the nation $96 billion in health care expenditures annually.
The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is a leading force in the fight to reduce tobacco use and its deadly toll in the United States and around the world. Our vision: a future free of the death and disease caused by tobacco. We work to save lives by advocating for public policies that prevent kids from smoking, help smokers quit and protect everyone from secondhand smoke.
SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids