KICK BUTTS 2019
Kids in Michigan united against tobacco use on March 20 as they join thousands
of young people nationwide to mark Kick Butts Day, an annual day of youth activism sponsored by the
Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. More than 1,000 events are planned across the United States
While cigarette smoking among high school students nationwide has fallen to 8.1 percent, e-cigarette
use among high schoolers rose by an alarming 78 percent in 2018 alone – to 20.8 percent of the student
population. In 2018, more than 3.6 million middle and high school students used e-cigarettes. U.S. public
health leaders have called youth e-cigarette use an “epidemic” that is addicting a new generation of
kids. Additional information about tobacco, including state-by-state statistics, can be found at www.tobaccofreekids.org.
On Kick Butts Day, youth and health advocates call for strong action to reverse the youth e-cigarette epidemic. In particular, they call on the Food and Drug Administration, states and cities
to ban all flavored tobacco products, including e-cigarettes in flavors like cotton candy, gummy bear and
mango that tempt kids. Other effective strategies to reduce youth tobacco use include laws raising the
tobacco sale age to 21, significant tobacco tax increases, comprehensive smoke-free laws and well- funded tobacco prevention programs.
On Kick Butts Day, youth joined in creative events including signing pledges to be tobacco-free, learning
about the harmful chemicals in tobacco products and organizing rallies at state capitols.
Locally, students on the Sault Health Adolescent Care Center’s (SHACC) Youth Advisory Council, directed by Lyndy Matheny, provided education to Sault Area High School classmates on the health risks of tobacco. Through a creative display and educational games, this opportunity allowed students during each lunch period a chance to gain knowledge on the risks of tobacco use. There was also an opportunity for students to sign a petition urging the Food and Drug Administration to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products and their deadly appeal to youth.
Anyone interested in more information or struggling with tobacco use, The Michigan Quitline is here to help! Contact 1-800-QUIT-NOW for access to assistance.Kick Butts Day is a national day of activism that empowers youth to stand out, speak up and seize control against Big Tobacco. This year youth and adults took part in more than 1,000 events in schools and communities across the United States and even around the world. Kick Butts Day is organized by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. The first Kick Butts Day was held in 1996.
On Kick Butts Day, teachers, youth leaders and health advocates organize events to:
1.Raise awareness of the problem of tobacco use in their state or community; 2. Encourage youth to reject the tobacco industry's deceptive marketing and stay tobacco-free; and 3. Urge elected officials to take action to protect kids from tobacco.
For the 2018 Kick Butts Day The Working on Wellness Junior (WOWjr) group from Sault Area Middle School partnered with the Chippewa County Health Department's Prevention Program to staged a murder mystery during the school’s lunch period. Students were challenged to go through the clues and identify a killer responsible for over 16,000 deaths in Michigan each year. The project, aimed to raise awareness among the Middle School students of the risks of tobacco use and smoking.The mystery featured six stations for students to inspect for clues, with each station including hints highlighting the health risks of smoking as well as methods manufacturers use to specifically target youth. Station 1 was the crime report, featuring news stories covering seemingly related and untimely deaths of five individuals. The second station was a crime scene, littered with evidence from several possible killers. Station three featured a lineup of possible suspects including villains such as Cam Elcoff, Buddy Lite, Crumb Inal. The fourth station featured lab results from the different autopsies, showing the victims suffered from symptoms including abnormal growths in their lungs, premature wrinkles, and tooth and gum damage. Next the students examined actual quotes from both tobacco and alcohol executives in the interrogation station before proceeding to the sixth and final station where they were challenged to identify the killer. All students who participated received a prize and a handout with additional information on the risks of tobacco use.To view More Kick Butts Day related media, click here. Visit www.kickbuttsday.org for more information.