WASHINGTON, March 11, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Kids in Delaware will stand up to Big Tobacco on March 16 as they join thousands of young people nationwide for Kick Butts Day. More than 1,000 events are planned across the United States and around the world for this annual day of youth activism, sponsored by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. (See below for a list of local events.)
On Kick Butts Day, kids demand that tobacco companies stop marketing deadly products to them and encourage elected officials to help reduce youth tobacco use.
This year, Kick Butts Day is focusing attention on the outrageous marketing tactics tobacco companies still use to target youth. These tactics include:
- Splashy ads in magazines with large youth readership, such as Sports Illustrated, Glamour and Rolling Stone.
- Widespread advertising and price discounts in stores, which make tobacco products appealing and affordable to kids.
- Sweet-flavored tobacco products such as electronic cigarettes and small cigars that come in flavors like gummy bear, cotton candy, watermelon and fruit punch. While youth cigarette smoking has fallen to record lows, the most recent government survey shows that e-cigarette use among high school students tripled from 2013 to 2014 (from 4.5 percent to 13.4 percent).
Nationwide, tobacco companies spend $9.6 billion a year – over one million dollars every hour – to market tobacco products. In Delaware, tobacco companies spend $51.6 million annually on marketing efforts.
"On Kick Butts Day, kids stand up to the tobacco industry and all of us, especially our elected officials, should stand with them," said Matthew L. Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. "We've made amazing progress in reducing youth smoking and can make the next generation tobacco-free. Elected officials in every state should help reach that goal by supporting proven strategies to prevent youth tobacco use, including higher tobacco taxes, strong smoke-free laws, prevention programs and raising the tobacco age to 21."
In Delaware, tobacco use claims 1,400 lives and costs $532 million in health care bills each year. Currently, 14.2 percent of Delaware's high school students smoke.
On Kick Butts Day, kids join in creative events that range from classroom activities about the harmful ingredients in cigarettes to rallies at state capitols.
In Delaware, activities include:
On March 15, students at Sussex Central High School will begin designing Door Decorations that focus on the theme of anti-tobacco use. Designs will be left up for a week, allowing everyone at school to view them. Time: 8 AM. Location: 26026 Patriots Way, Georgetown. Contact: Samantha McDonough (302) 257-1395.
On March 15, students at Shue Medill Middle School in Newark will craft an anti-tobacco message using solo cups in a fence to celebrate Kick Butts Day. Time: 3 PM Location: 1500 Capital Trail. Contact: Kimberly Rekito (302) 454-2171.
At the Kick Butts Generation annual conference in Newark from March 11-13th, participants will have the opportunity to post messages about the dangers of tobacco on a graffiti wall, which will then leave the conference and travel to schools and community groups around the area. Time: 12 PM, March 12. Location: 654 South College, Newark. Contact: Sheri Towner-Gabrelcik (302) 745-3627.
Students at Caesar Rodney High School will host a poster and social media campaign that will end with a lunchroom presentation. Students will be "kicking" a paper football with a cigarette "butt" on it into a goal post. The slogan is, "Making It Your 'Goal' To Be Tobacco-Free." Time: 11:40 AM. Location: 239 Old North Road, Camden. Contact: Tammy Graw (302) 698-4280.
All events are on March 16 unless otherwise indicated. For a full list of Kick Butts Day activities in Delaware, visit www.kickbuttsday.org/map. Additional information about tobacco, including state-by-state statistics, can be found at www.tobaccofreekids.org.
SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids