19th Annual ‘Kick Butts Day in Alabama
Today, thousands of young people from around the country are standing up for the right to good health by telling big tobacco companies to stop marketing to them. Youth around the country are recognizing the 19th annual Kick Butts Day Effort. Their rally cry is part of an annual campaign that demands that businesses like big tobacco companies and people like our elected officials do more to protect young people from products like cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products. According to the effort’s officials, the young people involved in today’s events are committed to not becoming part of the 18.1 percent of high school students who smoke every day, and the more than 3,000 people every day who try their first cigarette as kids. Today’s national event marks the 50th anniversary of the first surgeon general’s report on smoking which told us that smoking causes lung cancer and other deadly diseases. The new surgeon general’s report found that more than 5.6 million kids alive today will die prematurely from smoking if the current trends continue. 6,800 kids become regular smokers each year in Alabama. More than 23 percent of Alabama high school students smoke and that rate is higher than the estimated 18 percent of all Americans who smoke.