Students to Kick Butts Tomorrow
Barrington High School students will participate in the annual 'Kick Butts Day' across America on Wednesday, March 20.
Students at Barrington High School will be kicking butts tomorrow, March 20. Cigarette butts, that is.
It’s the 18th annual Kick Butts Day across the U.S. – an annual event in the fight against tobacco use.
The BAYouth students will be setting up a table in the high school lobby displaying all of the harmful chemicals found in tobacco, said Kathy Sullivan of The BAY Team, the substance abuse-prevention coalition in Barrington, and they will hand out temporary tattoos and chewing gum.
The students also will air on the minotors in the lobby the public service announcements they filmed about the dangers of tobacco and the industry’s marketing practices that entice kids to smoke.
The bottom line is to encourage fellow students to stay away from tobacco or kick the habit if they’ve already started smoking.
The events planned by the Barrington students are among the more than 1,200 that are planned across the nation, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, which is sponsored by United Health Foundation.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, tobacco companies spend $8.5 billion a year – nearly one million dollars each hour – to market cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products. This marketing creates the following impact:
- 18.1 percent of high school students, almost 1 out of 5, still smoke, and nearly 1,000 kids become regular smokers each day.
- Tobacco companies have also introduced new products that appeal to kids, including cheap, sweet, colorfully-packaged small cigars that look just like cigarettes. Many cigars come in fruit and candy flavors such as strawberry, vanilla, peach and apple.
- The U.S. Surgeon General has concluded that tobacco marketing causes kids to start and continue using tobacco products.
Tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable death in the United States, killing more than 400,000 people and costing $96 billion in health care bills each year.
In Rhode Island, tobacco use claims 1,600 lives and costs $506 million in health care bills each year. More than 11 percent of the state’s high school students smoke – or a little more than 1 out of 10 students.