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Washington Students to Fight Youth Tobacco Use

National ‘Kick Butts Day’

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Posted: Thursday, March 22, 2012 7:30 am

Young people from Washington will join thousands of kids across the country by taking part in Kick Butts Day, a nationwide initiative that makes kids leaders in the effort to stop youth tobacco use.

As part of the Kick Butts Day celebration, local students are standing up and speaking out against tobacco with a Zumba dance party Friday, March 30, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the new N-Sports Rec Center, 3101 Recreation Drive, in Washington.

During this event all attendees will be able to Zumba the night away, but will also get the chance to learn about tobacco.

Activities will include a booth called, “They Put What in a Cigarette?” and education on the dangers of tobacco use and second-hand smoke.

It also will feature the first ever Washington smoke-free dining guide.

This guide will list all of the local eating establishments in town that are smoke-free. The night will conclude with prizes for attendees and winners of tobacco trivia questions.

The cost is $10 for adults. Sudents ages 14 to 18 are free.

“Kids are a powerful part of the solution to reducing youth tobacco use,” said Matthew L. Myers, president of the 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.”

Other Events

Throughout the year, young advocates take part in a variety of activities to protect kids from tobacco, including working with elected officials to develop policies that reduce youth tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke and educating their peers about tobacco companies’ deceptive marketing practices.

The Kick Butts Day activities have already started with student volunteers presenting certificates of appreciation to local smoke-free restaurants.

“By showing our appreciation, it lets these business owners know that people in the community really appreciate and support those establishments that are protecting employees and patrons,” states Joyce Lara, Tobacco Use Prevention coordinator for University of Missouri.

Smoke-free restaurants in Washington, in alphabetical order, are American Bounty Restaurant, Arby’s, Bandana’s, Basket Case Deli, Baskin-Robbins in Wal-Mart, Blue Duck Cafe and Bakery, Bob Evans, Bubba’s Shrimp, Burger King, Cafe Mosaic, Cecil Whittaker’s Pizzeria, China King, Cowan’s Restaurant, Dairy Delight, Dairy Queen, Domino’s Pizza, Imo’s Pizza, Jack in the Box, Jimmy John’s, Joe’s Bakery and Delicatessen, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Lion’s Choice, MannWell’s Coffee Alley, McDonald’s, Old Dutch Tavern and Hotel, Papa Murphy’s, Pizza Hut, Ponderosa Steakhouse, Qdoba Mexican Grill, St. Louis Bread Company, Rothschild’s Family Restaurant, Schulte Bakery, Steak ’n Shake, Subway, Taco Bell and Paradise Frozen Custard.

“By showing our appreciation, it lets these business owners know that people in the community really appreciate and support those establishments that are protecting employees and patrons,” states Lara.

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 kids try their first cigarettes. Another 1,000 kids become addicted smokers — one-third of whom will die prematurely as a result.

The Washington, D.C.-based Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is one of the largest nongovernmental education and advocacy initiatives ever undertaken to decrease youth tobacco use in the United States.

For more information about the Kick Butts Day Zumba dance party, people may contact Joyce Lara, 573-823-3809, or laraj@health.missouri.edu.

For information on the national initiative, people may visit the Kick Butts Day website at kickbuttsday.org.