WASHINGTON, May 11, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Members of Noble SWAT (Students Working Against Tobacco) from Noble, Okla., have been named Group Youth Advocates of the Year by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids for their leadership in the fight against tobacco. Emma Adams, 14, Faith Lorenz, 15, Bryce Riddle, 16, and Brody Smith, 14, were honored Wednesday in Washington, D.C.
Three years ago, Noble SWAT only had six members but has since grown to include nearly 100 enthusiastic youth advocates. The group is dedicated to reducing tobacco use in Oklahoma, which has some of the high smoking rates in the country.
Noble SWAT regularly hosts events to educate the community about the toll of tobacco and the need for stronger tobacco prevention efforts in Oklahoma. The group successfully advocated for inclusion of e-cigarettes in Noble's tobacco-free schools policy.
"We are thrilled to honor Noble SWAT as our Group Youth Advocates of the Year," said Matthew L. Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. "Young leaders like them are standing up to the tobacco industry, inspiring their peers to be tobacco-free and encouraging elected officials to take action. They are helping create the first tobacco-free generation."
Over 400 public health, business, civic and political leaders attended the Youth Advocates of the Year awards ceremony to recognize Noble SWAT and other youth advocates from across the country. The winners received scholarships to continue their tobacco prevention efforts and will serve as youth ambassadors for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.
Tobacco use is the No. 1 cause of preventable death in the United States, killing over 480,000 Americans and costing the nation $170 billion in health care bills each year. Tobacco kills 6 million people worldwide each year.
In Oklahoma, tobacco use claims 7,500 lives and costs $1.62 billion in health care bills each year. Currently, 14.6 percent of Oklahoma's high school students smoke and 19 percent use e-cigarettes.
Additional information about the youth award winners and the toll of tobacco can be found at www.tobaccofreekids.org.
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SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids