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LETTER: Writer urges support for Kick Butts Day, Wednesday, April 5

Kick Butts Day is day youth stand up and speak out against tobacco use

From Jelaine Phillips
Senior Health Educator
Adair County Health Department

April 5, 2006 is designated as Kick Butts Day across America.

This is a day that youth stand up and speak out against tobacco use.

This is an important day for youth because more than 5 million children alive today will die prematurely from smoking-related illnesses.

One in five high school students smokes

According to statistics from Tobacco-Free Kids in the United States one in five high school student smokes, with Kentucky rates being slightly higher.

Each day more than 4000 kids try their fist cigarette, many as young as fourth grade, and 2000 kids under the age of 18 become new regular smokers. This means a staggering 730,000 new underage daily smokers each year with roughly one-third of them eventually dying from smoking-related illnesses.

Smoking kills people

Smoking kills more people than alcohol, AIDS, car crashes, illegal drugs, murders, and suicides combined. Thousands more die from other tobacco-related causes such as fires caused by smoking.

Nationwide, youth smoking has declined since 1997, but remains at high levels. The 2004 National Youth Tobacco Survey found that 21.7% of U.S. high school kids smoke and 9.9% of high school males use spit tobacco. U.S. adult smoking has also decreased gradually since the 1980s with 20.9% (27.6% in KY) of U.S. adults currently smoking.

What can you do?

Applaud the youth of Adair County for standing up for what they believe in and support their efforts in the fight against tobacco and tobacco related deaths.

This story was posted on 2006-04-05 00:15:00
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