ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., March 20, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, youth leaders at nine schools across New Mexico are hosting "Kick Butts Day" events to raise awareness about their schools' tobacco- and e-cigarette-free policies. Increased awareness of tobacco-free school policies helps students, staff, and visitors comply with these standards and ensures that schools are truly tobacco-free environments. The youth leaders are part of Evolvement, a youth movement promoting a tobacco-free New Mexico.
"24/7 campaign resources make it easier to communicate and enforce our tobacco-free policy," says Charlotte Stalker, 16, of Arrowhead Park Early College High School in Las Cruces. "This is a simple, cost-free, and effective way to ensure that our schools are a tobacco-free environment, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week."
24/7 events will take place on Kick Butts Day at Atrisco Heritage Academy (Albuquerque), Gadsden High School (Anthony), Navajo Preparatory School (Farmington), V. Sue Cleveland High School (Rio Rancho), Arrowhead Park Early College High School (Las Cruces), Tucumcari Middle School (Tucumcari), Los Lunas High School (Los Lunas), Newcomb High School (Newcomb), and H. Miyamura High School (Gallup).
These events are part of the 24/7 campaign, a cross-cutting statewide collaboration between adult and youth community members. The youth arm of the movement has taken the lead on helping schools create and maintain tobacco-free environments. The 24/7 campaign engages the school community with interactive learning activities, photo pledges, and assessments designed to gauge student, staff, and visitor understanding of existing tobacco policies. The data from these surveys is used to help principals understand where there may be room for improvement in communicating and enforcing tobacco-free policies.
"We've tried to eliminate tobacco products from New Mexico schools," says Thomas Hosteen, 16, from Newcomb High School in Newcomb. "The 24/7 campaign is a way for me to make my school a healthier learning environment."
The 24/7 campaign also assists school districts in updating their policies to be truly comprehensive and provides free resources – including bilingual tobacco-free signs – and recognition to school districts as they go truly tobacco-free. Four districts – Roswell Independent School District, Pecos Independent School District, Central Consolidated School District, and Las Cruces Public School District – have already set the standard of health for districts statewide by partnering with the campaign to adopt a tobacco-free policy that meets the Department of Health's comprehensive standard this year.
About the 24/7 campaign
The 24/7 campaign is a New Mexico Department of Health initiative to help all school districts in New Mexico understand, adopt, implement, and enforce comprehensive tobacco-free policies. For more information, visit www.247NewMexico.com.
Evolvement New Mexico is the New Mexico Department of Health Tobacco Use Prevention and Control (TUPAC) Program's youth-led volunteer program with a mission to decrease the harmful and addictive use of tobacco. To date, more than 3,000 teens have participated in the Evolvement Program across New Mexico. For more information, visit www.Evolvement.org.
About Kick Butts Day
Kick Butts Day is a national day of action for youth to stand out, speak up, and seize control against tobacco. Youth groups across the U.S. are marking the day with school and community activities to raise awareness about the dangers of tobacco and encourage tobacco-free living. For more information visit http://www.KickButtsDay.org/
Ashley Wagner, (505) 415-2925
SOURCE 24/7 Tobacco-Free Schools