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About Kick Butts Day
2014 Events in Connecticut
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 13, 2015
CONTACTS: Brianna Gavio, 202-745-5064
Mina Radman, 202-296-5469
Connecticut Kids to ‘Kick Butts’ on March 18
State Leaders Urged to Support Tobacco Prevention Initiatives
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Kids in Connecticut will stand up to Big Tobacco on March 18 as they join thousands of young people nationwide for the 20th annual Kick Butts Day. More than 1,000 events are planned nationwide for this day of youth activism, sponsored by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. (See below for a list of local events.)
On Kick Butts Day, kids encourage their peers to stay tobacco-free, demand that tobacco companies stop marketing deadly, addictive products to them and encourage elected officials to do more to reduce youth tobacco use.
This year, Kick Butts Day is focusing attention on how the tobacco industry still spends huge sums on marketing and is adopting new strategies to reach young customers. Nationwide, tobacco companies spend $8.8 billion a year – one million dollars every hour – to market tobacco products. In Connecticut, tobacco companies spend $78.1 million annually on marketing efforts. The industry’s tactics that entice kids include:
- Splashy ads in magazines with large youth readership, such as Sports Illustrated, ESPN the Magazine and Rolling Stone.
- Widespread advertising and price discounts in stores, which make tobacco products appealing and affordable to kids.
- New, sweet-flavored tobacco products such as small cigars and electronic cigarettes. The latest surveys show that youth use of e-cigarettes has skyrocketed.
In addition to organizing events, kids are standing up to the tobacco industry on social media through the #NotAReplacement selfie campaign. The tobacco industry’s own documents reveal that they have long targeted kids as “replacement smokers” for the more than 480,000 people their products kill each year in the United States. Kids are taking selfies to say they’re not a replacement and sharing the photos on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the #NotAReplacement hashtag. (view the #NotAReplacement selfie gallery)
“On Kick Butts Day, kids stand up and reject Big Tobacco’s manipulative marketing,” said Matthew L. Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. “We can make the next generation tobacco-free and end the tobacco epidemic for good. Elected officials can help reach that goal by standing with kids and supporting proven strategies to prevent youth tobacco use, including higher tobacco taxes, strong smoke-free laws and prevention programs.”
In Connecticut, tobacco use claims 4,900 lives and costs $2.03 billion in health care bills each year. Currently, 13.5 percent of Connecticut’s high school students smoke.
On Kick Butts Day, kids engage in creative events that range from small classroom activities about the harmful ingredients in cigarettes to large rallies at state capitols.
In Connecticut, activities include:
The Natchaug River Young Marines and youth of Windham County will hold a march on Main Street in Danielson and carry anti-smoking signs to demonstrate the dangers of using tobacco. Time: 5:30 PM. Location: Davis Park, Danielson. Contact: Theresa Petrowsky (860) 420-7789.
The Montville Youth Service Bureau in Uncasville will inform youth about the harmful chemicals in cigarettes and promote #NotAReplacement. Time: 3:30 PM. Location: 289 Norwich New London Turnpike, Uncasville. Contact: Kimberly Grant (860) 848- 7724.
Students at William J. Johnston Middle School in Colchester will learn the dangers of smoking and what is actually in a cigarette through an interactive lesson, including visuals and multimedia. Time: 8:15 AM. Location: 360 Norwich Avenue, Colchester. Contact: Joseph Colossale (860) 518-6835.
On March 19, the School Based Health Centers for Stamford Public Schools will welcome the Bennett Cancer Center to Dolan Middle School for a special assembly that will educate students about the dangers and negative effects of using tobacco. Time: 8 AM. Location: 51 Toms Road, Stamford. Contact: Bill Brucker (203) 940-0027.
On March 19, youth in the afterschool program at Haddam Killingworth Youth and Family Services will participate in #NotAReplacement and place cups in a fence to raise awareness about the dangers of using tobacco. Time: 2:30 PM. Location: 451 CT-81, Killingworth. Contact: Deborah Kelly (203) 770 – 9568.
All events are on March 18 unless otherwise indicated. For a full list of Kick Butts Day activities in Connecticut, visit www.kickbuttsday.org/map. Additional information about tobacco, including state-by-state statistics, can be found at www.tobaccofreekids.org.
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