Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids Honors Jordenne McKay of LaCrosse, WI As Youth Advocate of the Year

May 16, 2012, 10:37 ET from Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

--Leadership in Fight Against Tobacco Recognized Nationally--

WASHINGTON, May 16, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Jordenne McKay, 18, of LaCrosse, Wisconsin, has been named the Central Region Youth Advocate of the Year by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids for her leadership in the fight against tobacco. Jordenne is being honored at a gala in the nation's capital on Thursday (May 17) along with a national winner, three other regional winners and a group winner.

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Jordenne sat on the Youth Board of Directors of Fighting Against Corporate Tobacco, Wisconsin's youth program from 2010-2011. In the past year, she has promoted the state's new smoke-free law, organized a campaign to thank legislators, educated business owners about the law's requirements and taught the public how to report violations. She planned a Young Women of Influence track at the state's Women of Influence expo, educating the community about how the tobacco industry targets women and girls.

She currently focuses on educating policy makers about industry marketing to youth. Jordenne has testified before the state Legislature and presented at the 2011 National Summit on Spit and Smokeless Tobacco. She also has met with Wisconsin's congressional delegation about FDA regulation and tobacco prevention.

More than 400 public health, political, civic and business leaders will attend the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids' 16th annual gala in Washington, D.C., to recognize these young leaders. The winners will receive educational scholarships and grants to continue their prevention efforts and serve as ambassadors for the Campaign.

"Jordenne McKay and other young leaders from across the nation are making great strides in the fight against tobacco and their voices are being heard," said Matthew L. Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. "Every day, 1,000 kids in the United States become regular smokers and one-third of them will die prematurely from tobacco-caused disease. Young leaders like Jordenne McKay play a critical role in preventing kids from smoking and reducing tobacco's terrible toll on our nation."

In Wisconsin, 17.7 percent of high school students smoke, and 7,400 kids become daily smokers every year.  Every year, tobacco use kills 7,200 Wisconsin residents and costs the state $2 billion in health care bills. Nationally, tobacco use kills more than 400,000 people and costs the nation $96 billion in health care expenditures each year.

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