OK Youth Stands Up Against Big Tobacco on Kick Butts Day - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

OK Youth Stands Up Against Big Tobacco on Kick Butts Day

Cutting down on smoking or quitting completely is often a goal for the new year. (Source KSWO) Cutting down on smoking or quitting completely is often a goal for the new year. (Source KSWO)

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK– The 2017 Kick Butts Day celebration encourages youth across Oklahoma to stand up for tobacco-free environments by attending events and exploring the resources offered by Tobacco Stops With Me.

“Young people have a voice and on March 15, Oklahoma youth will gather to educate their peers, family and friends about Big Tobacco and their youth-focused marketing strategies,” said John Woods, executive director of TSET. “We support their efforts for Kick Butts Day and encourage all young people to build healthy futures – free from tobacco.”

2,400 kids become new regular, daily smokers each year in Oklahoma. Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in Oklahoma, killing more than 7,500 people every year.

The TSET Healthy Living Program in Cherokee County hosts an annual event with local youth from Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) action groups who will join forces with community and coalition members to pick up cigarette butts in the city parks for Kick Butts Day.

“When we started, it was just a few youth picking up thousands of nasty cigarette butts,” said Carol Choate, grant coordinator for the TSET Healthy Living Program in Cherokee County. “Now, our small group has become much larger and includes a lot of other local organizations. In fact, the cigarette butts collected from our parks have been presented to city councils by our youth to show that it’s time to look at whether we should even allow smoking in our parks. That’s the difference a few youth can make on our communities.”

Tobacco companies still spend $169 million yearly to market cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products, particularly to youth and young adults. As a result, more than 9 million packs of cigarettes are bought or smoked by Oklahoma kids each year.

Learn more about motivating peers to be tobacco free at StopsWithMe.com.

Information provided by Tobacco Stops with Me. 

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