Mississippi Tobacco Free Coalition Sponsors “Kick Butts Day”
Mississippi youth in Grenada County joined kids in other counties and agreed to voice their opposition to big tobacco companies during 2012 Kick Butts Day. Kick Butts Day is a national day for activism when thousands of youth in every state and around the world will stand out, speak up, and seize control against big tobacco. As part of this year’s Kick Butts Day celebration, the Mississippi Tobacco-Free Coalition of Grenada, Yalobusha, and Calhoun Counties is working with students in Grenada to help empower youth to speak up and take action.
“The tobacco companies refer to kids as ‘replacement smokers.’ Kick Butts Day is an opportunity for participating youth to speak out and tell others they are not going to be influenced by pressure to use tobacco products,” said Sue Mashburne, Director of the Mississippi Tobacco Free Coalition of Grenada, Yalobusha, and Calhoun Counties.
Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, killing more than 400,000 people every year. Each year, 3,900 Mississippi kids under the age of 18 become new, daily smokers. Sixty-nine thousand Mississippi kids now under 18 will ultimately die prematurely from smoking, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.
“Mississippi’s kids play a huge role in helping to reduce youth tobacco use in our state,” said Roy Hart, Director of the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) Office of Tobacco Control. “The kids participating in Kick Butts Day 2012 are sending two very important messages: they want the tobacco industry to stop targeting them with advertising and they want elected leaders to do more to protect them from tobacco.”
Through MSDH’s local tobacco-free coalitions, young advocates take part in a variety of tobacco prevention activities throughout the school year, including working with elected officials to develop policies that reduce youth tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke and to educate their peers about the risks of tobacco use.
The Mississippi Tobacco-Free Coalition of Grenada, Yalobusha, and Calhoun Counties is a community-based coalition that works to prevent the initiation of tobacco use among youth, reduce exposure to secondhand smoke, promote tobacco cessation services,and eliminate tobacco-related disparities. This program is funded by the Mississippi State Department of Health.
For more information contact
Sue Mashburne at 662-226-2589 or visit www.tobaccofreems.org