Indiana Kids Will ‘Kick Butts’ on March 19

WASHINGTON, March 25, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Kids in Indiana will stand
up against tobacco on March 19 as they join thousands of young people nationwide
for the 19th annual Kick Butts Day. More than 1,400 events are planned across
the nation. (See below for a list of local events.)

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Organized by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Kick Butts Day is an annual
celebration of youth leadership and activism in the fight against tobacco. On
Kick Butts Day, youth will encourage their peers to stay tobacco-free and
educate their communities about the tobacco industry’s harmful marketing
practices.

This year, Kick Butts Day comes as new information reaffirms the urgent need for
action. The United States is marking the 50th anniversary of the first Surgeon
General’s Report on Smoking and Health, and a new Surgeon General’s report
released in January found that smoking is even more hazardous than previously
thought. Key findings of the report include:

— Each year, smoking kills 480,000 people in the U.S. and costs the nation
at least $289 billion in health care bills and other economic losses.
— Without urgent action to reduce smoking, 5.6 million U.S. children alive
today will die prematurely from smoking-caused disease. That includes
151,000 children in Indiana alone.
— Tobacco marketing causes kids to start and continue using tobacco
products.
Nationwide, tobacco companies spend $8.8 billion a year – one million dollars
each hour – to market cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products. In particular,
tobacco companies target youth with magazine ads, store ads and discounts, and
fruit- and candy-flavored small cigars that look just like cigarettes.

“On Kick Butts Day, kids will stand up and reject Big Tobacco’s manipulative
marketing,” said Matthew L. Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free
Kids. “Elected officials must stand with them by supporting proven measures to
protect kids from tobacco addiction, including tobacco taxes, smoke-free laws
and prevention programs. On the 50th anniversary of the first Surgeon General’s
report, we need bold action to create a tobacco-free generation and end the
tobacco epidemic for good.”

In Indiana alone, tobacco use claims 9,800 lives and costs $2.9 billion in
health care bills each year. Currently, 18.1 percent of the state’s high school
students smoke.

On Kick Butts Day, kids turn the tables on Big Tobacco in creative ways, with
events that range from small classroom activities about the harmful ingredients
in cigarettes to large rallies at state capitols.

Activities in Indiana include:

On March 17, students from Bedford and Mitchell will place tombstones around the
Bedford Courthouse to raise awareness of the dangers of tobacco and secondhand
smoke. They will also distribute flyers with information about tobacco cessation
and prevention. Time: 3 PM. Location: 929 15th Street, Bedford. Contact: Karin
DuBois (812) 849-4447 ext. 378.?

Students at Shortridge High School in Indianapolis will encourage their peers to
make a statement about why they are tobacco-free. Their statements will be
incorporated into a larger poster that will be displayed at the Indiana State
House. Time: 11:30 AM. Location: 3401 N. Meridian Street, Indianapolis. Contact:
Chris Hawkins (317) 828-7025.

Youth from across Muncie and Delaware County will gather at the steps of Muncie
City Hall to participate in an anti-tobacco rally to raise awareness of the
dangers of tobacco. The rally will conclude with a candlelight vigil for those
who have lost their lives to tobacco. Time: 6:30 PM. Location: 300 N. High
Street, Muncie. Contact: Megan Walradth (765) 282-7988.

Youth from Richard E. Jeffers Boys & Girls Club in Richmond will participate in
a carnival with activities aimed at raising awareness of the dangers of tobacco
among youth participants. Time: 4:15 PM. Location: 1717 S. L Street, Richmond.
Contact: Stacey Steele (765) 962-6922.

On March 21, youth from Beck Lane Boys & Girls Club in Lafayette will
participate in a tobacco-free carnival. Events will include relay races in which
one team has to breathe through a straw to symbolize the effects of smoking,
skits about tobacco prevention and other educational activities. Time: 4 PM.
Location: 2112 Beck Lane, Lafayette. Contact: Dustin Bankhead (765) 471-1973.

(Note: all events are on March 19 unless otherwise indicated.)

For a full list of Kick Butts Day events in Indiana, visit
http://www.kickbuttsday.org/map. Additional information about tobacco, including
state-by-state statistics, can be found at www.tobaccofreekids.org.

Logo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20080918/CFTFKLOGO

SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

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