YES! Youth Participate in National Kick Butts DayPublished March 22, 2012 at 8:17 pm | Comments Off
ASHEVILLE, N.C. – March 21, 2012 – Young people from Buncombe County joined thousands of youth from across the country for Kick Butts Day, a nationwide initiative that makes teens leaders in the effort to prevent youth tobacco use.
“Kick Butts Day was a great way to get our community involved in healthy living,” said Tiffany Jones, a youth staff member of Youth Empowered Solutions (YES!) and North Buncombe High School student. “We provided tangible activities and resources that not only educated people about the risks of tobacco use, but also empowered them to go out into their communities and be advocates for positive change,” said Jones.
Jones was joined at the event by fellow YES! youth staff members Savannah Henderson, Emma Harper, Tyler Long and Hanna Maxey. As part of the Kick Butts Day celebration, the Buncombe County students educated community members about the benefits of being smoke-free and provided free resources to help them quit smoking.
The Asheville Y, the location for the event, provided free community passes and waived the joining fee for Kick Butts Day. Special guests included Rowan Lischerelli, who taught two exercise classes on body awareness, and two former smokers who were available for a Q-and-A on how they successfully kicked the habit.
According to The Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, killing more than 400,000 people every year. Every day, more than 4,000 youth try their first cigarettes; another 1,000 become addicted smokers, one-third of whom will die prematurely as a result.
“Kids are a powerful part of the solution to reducing youth tobacco use,” said Matthew L. Myers, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, which coordinates Kick Butts Day. “For Kick Butts Day 2012, kids are sending two important messages: They want the tobacco industry to stop targeting them with advertising and they want elected leaders at all levels to do more to protect them from tobacco.”
For information on the national initiative, visit the Kick Butts Day website at www.kickbuttsday.org.