Kick the habit
by our readers
Mar 19, 2013 | 2378 views |  0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
More than 400,000 people in the United States will die this year from a tobacco-related disease. Today — Kick Butts Day — kids from all over the United States are taking a stand to stop youth from getting hooked on deadly tobacco products. We know that 90 percent of smokers start using tobacco regularly at or before 18 years of age. Isn’t this astonishing?

There are many effective ways state and local officials can protect young people from tobacco. They can use funds from the states’ 1998 legal settlement with the tobacco companies to pay for tobacco prevention programs; they can increase tobacco taxes; and they can pass smoke-free laws to protect us from secondhand smoke. Consider these facts: Each day, more than 1,000 kids become new regular smokers; roughly one-third of them will die prematurely from a tobacco-related disease.

On this 18th observance, the youth are standing out, speaking up and seizing control against Big Tobacco. The students want tobacco companies to know that on Kick Butts Day and every day throughout the year, we’re going to fight them every step of the way.

Coretta Grant
Alabama Dept. of Public Health
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