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Kick Butts Day is a program of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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Kick Butts Day Activities

Host a Taking Down Tobacco 101 training for youth in your community to help create and #BeTheFirst tobacco-free generation.

Why is this important?

Did you know that if we don’t continue the fight against big tobacco, 5.6 million kids (under 18 years old) alive today will ultimately die from smoking? That’s about the population of Minnesota!  We can’t let that happen. 

By becoming a certified Taking Down Tobacco trainer, you can host trainings in your community that will educate, inform, inspire, and activate action.  Help train one million youth by 2020 and create the first tobacco-free generation.  Are you ready?

YOU’LL NEED

  • Meeting room/areas

  • Laptop, projectors and screen/wall

Instructions

Before the Event:

  • Create your free Taking Down Tobacco account at www.takingdowntobacco.org.

  • Complete the Taking Down Tobacco 101 online course.

  • Complete the Become a Trainer online course, after which you can prepare to lead or guide a training.

  • Download everything you need to deliver a training, including the Trainer Manual.

  • Use the trainer manual to prepare for the training.

During the Event: 

  • Utilize all the resources listed above to deliver an outstanding Taking Down Tobacco Training.

  • Promote any activities, events or campaigns your group is working on in your community.

  • Take a selfie with your training participants holding the #BeTheFirst sign.

After the Event: 

  • Log your training by completing the Post-Training survey to earn points you can redeem for grants and gear!

TIP

Courses earn badges and points that can be redeemed for gear, activity kits and mini-grants.

 

Prep Time: Weeks Cost: Low

The Zombie Walk will mobilize youth and young adults to take a public stand against the dangers of tobacco use. This event can be held in a variety of venues,  ranging from outside of a store that promotes tobacco products to within a nearby decision-makers’ office. Take this as a chance to get creative, and adjust the venue and target audience to what will be most impactful in your community.

Why is this important?

The Zombie Walk can be used as a storytelling and advocacy tool to grab the attention of stakeholders in Big Tobacco. It is also an attractive activity to the media, and is likely to grab the focus of community members to engage in the message of tobacco control.

You’ll Need

  • Poster board &  markers for signs—at least one sign per zombie!
  • Costume makeup—think brown/black colors, and some red shades for dramatic effect.
  • Old/dirty/tattered clothing (ask participants to supplement this). Ripped jeans, old tee shirts from sports and shoes that have been dragged through muddy fields will do the trick.

Instructions

Before the Event

  • Identify a date and time,  venue, and target audience for your Zombie Walk. Locations could include outside of stores that sell tobacco products (as in the example video below),  outside of legislative offices, or in high-traffic areas in your community.

  • Check limits on public protests by your city, county or state—get the permits that you need if rules are in place.

  • Recruit as many participants as possible—a gaggle of zombies is much more poignant than a handful!

  • Facilitate costume making for participants. This can include ripping/dirtying of clothing, makeup tutorials, and more!

  • Solidify the key messages of your walk. Are you looking to change a specific policy or action of a certain group? Adjust your messaging and materials accordingly.

  • Create protest signs and make sure that their wording aligns with your overall message and goal of the walk.

  • Conduct outreach to local media outlets to let them know about your event—this could be anything from print newspapers, to local TV news stations.

  • Practice your zombie walk!

During the Event: 

  • Maintain a cohesive group message—remember what your main objective is.

  • Disperse your group to strategic locations throughout your venue—entrances, exits, employee hubs within the venue, etc.

  • Take photos and post them to social media to broaden the online reach of your event

  • Have fun!

After the Event: 

  • Reflect with your participant group about what they learned

  • Follow up with the decision-makers or stakeholders that you targeted with your event—include photos from the walk and firsthand stories from participants.

  • Continue spreading the word about what your group did via social media, email newsletters, and other communications methods used by your group.

Tip

Watch this YouTube video

Prep Time: Weeks Cost: Low

95% of smokers begin smoking before the age of 21. While many states and cities have made efforts to raise the minimum age for tobacco purchasing from 18 to 21, underage smoking is still prevalent and barriers to initiating smoking remain low. The 21 Reasons Why activity gives members of your community the chance to speak out about this important policy change—through personal stories, statistics, or any other reasons to raise the minimum age of tobacco purchase.

Why is this important

21 Reasons Why can be used as a storytelling and advocacy tool to persuade decision-makers and engage community members.

You’ll Need

  • Paper (printed with state branding of Tobacco 21 efforts if applicable)—standard 8.5x11 inches will work well, but you can always use larger paper too!
  • Markers (think about what colors will show up best for photography against the shade of paper you are using)
  • Camera—a phone camera will work well. Be sure that whatever you use, you have the ability to export the photos to another device to send to others.

Instructions

Before the Event

  • Identify a date, time and venue for your campaign. This could be planned around Kick Butts Day, or planned close to any upcoming legislative activity regarding Tobacco 21 in your state.

  • Recruit as many participants as possible—at least 21!

  • Disseminate information about the Tobacco 21 policy change to participants—make sure this content is understandable for the age group that you are working with. Check your state health department and other state-sponsored websites for relevant resources for this.

  • Have a plan in place for how, and to whom, you will be sending the photos of your 21 Reasons. Involve your participant group in this decision so that they feel invested when the day of your event arrives.

During the Event:

  • Have each participant write a Reason Why with a number (1-21) attached (see example below) on a sheet of paper. Reasons could be anything from a personal story on the harms of tobacco use in their family or community, to a simple desire for the public to be healthier. No reason is too big or too small! The paper can also include things like their name, age, and hometown.

  • Take a photo of each person holding their sign. Be sure that the writing on the paper is clear and easy to read from the camera!

  • If time allows, film short video clips of youths holding their reason and speaking about it.

  • Facilitate conversations between participants as time allows, encouraging participants to discuss and internalize their reasons.

  • Depending on your plan of action for using the photos for advocacy, publish the photos/videos in the best way for your group. This could be a continuous stream of photos to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, a compiled album of photos sent to a state decision-maker, or a combination of both!

After the Event:

  • Reflect with your participant group about what they saw and learned

  • Follow up with policy makers with photos/videos and a summary of your event

  • Continue to spread the word about your event via social media, email newsletters, and other communications methods used by your group. This should include a call to action for others to urge local decision-makers to change the legal age of tobacco purchase to 21.

 

Prep Time: Weeks Cost: Moderate

Who doesn’t love a little snail mail? Use this postcard party activity to let your decision-makers know what you are doing to #BeTheFirst tobacco-free generation and encourage them to join the fight against tobacco.

YOU’LL NEED

Instructions

Before the Event

  • The details
    Identify when and where you will be having your postcard party. Will you be making postcards at an existing event or as a separate event? Consider hosting your postcard party after school, or making postcards at an existing tobacco prevention event you’re already planning!

  • Create and/or print your postcards
    Download our free postcards and get them printed or design your own. Be sure to think strategically about what the postcard’s message is. Identify how you can use this postcard party to support any existing tobacco issues you are trying to tackle in your community. How are YOU fighting to create a tobacco-free generation, and what can decision-makers do to help?

  • Identify and gather materials
    Gather additional materials you may need, like markers, stickers, additional pamphlets or fact sheets supporting your local tobacco prevention to personalize your postcards

  • Spread the word
    Once you’ve identified your time, date and location for your party, it’s time to promote your event! Consider promoting your event through school announcements, local radio and TV stations, newspapers, social media, community calendars and websites and word of mouth!

During the Event:

  • Collect postcards
    Encourage event attendees/postcard party participants to write a message and sign postcards with their name and where they’re from. Messages can be specific to the topic you are advocating about or about why we need to create a tobacco-free generation. Be sure to have fact sheets and additional information on hand to explain to participants why we need to #BeTheFirst tobacco-free generation!

  • Document
    During your event, take plenty of pictures and post to Twitter, Instagram and Facebook using the hashtag #BeTheFirst! Encourage attendees to post to their social media channels as well.

After the Event:

  • Sign, Sealed & Delivered!
    If you are planning on mailing the postcards to your decision-makers, be sure to have enough postage and the right mailing address on each card before dropping them in the mail. You can mail them individually or send them in one large envelope.If you are hand-delivering the post-cards, use a large mailing envelope to gather and deliver all the postcards! If you’re sending a lot of postcards together, consider writing a letter to accompany the postcards explaining what you’re advocating for and why.

  • Follow-up with your local media outlets with a press release and photos from your event to make it into your local paper or on TV or radio!

 

Prep Time: Weeks Cost: Low

Host a smoke-free movies night to raise awareness about how smoking is glamorized in youth-rated films and support smoke-free movies. This is a great activity to do with other youth organizations or as a fun family event! Find some of the best smoke-free G or PG rated films and be sure to have plenty of popcorn.

YOU’LL NEED

Instructions

Before the Event:

  • Identify a location
    Decide on the approximate number of people to invite and whether you will need to find a location that has projection equipment available. If it is a smaller group, a school classroom with a large TV will be sufficient. Be sure to acquire the proper permissions to use these facilities. If you have the budget and time to plan a larger event, consider working with a local theater to host a screening!

  • Select the film(s) you want to showcase. A list of smoke-free movies can be found at smokefreemovies.ucsf.edu.

  • Promote the event and invite groups or family members to attend. Consider collaborating with other youth organizations to boost your reach.

  • Identify materials
    Gather your refreshments and any additional supplies needed for the event. Double-check to make sure you have all the movies and necessary equipment ready and in working order.

  • Prepare a short pre-show speech or skit to share facts on the prevalence of smoking in the movies. Take it to the next level by planning a Mock Oscars ceremony where you recognize smoke-free movies, actors and actresses and studios who have reduced the amount of smoking in films. Practice your speech or skit!

  • Contact the media and in the few days before your event send out any press materials you have prepared.

During the Event:

  • Set up
    Set up the room and greet guests as they arrive. Consider handing out palm cards with tobacco facts.

  • Lights, Camera, Action
    Before the movie, present a few facts on the prevalence of smoking in movies or perform your skit.

  • Enjoy the show!

After the Event

  • Contact the media again! Be sure to send a press release and photos to any media outlets who didn’t show up

  • Upload photos and videos to social media

 

Prep Time: Weeks Cost: Low

Shock and inform students and community members about Big Tobacco’s outrageous marketing schemes and motivate them to spread the word by creating a maze of deception lined with visuals and facts about how the tobacco industry is targeting youth to be their next replacement smokers.

Adapted from SWAT Region 4, Florida SWAT

YOU’LL NEED

  • Large cardboard boxes
  • Duct tape
  • Markers/poster paper

Instructions

Before the Event:

  • Identify a location for the maze
    Get permission from appropriate person to construct a maze of deception at the entrance of a school or community event

  • Build the maze
    Build posters and large barrier walls out of cardboard with tobacco facts, quotes, and examples of tobacco industry marketing. Get creative!

  • Contact the media and make sure they know what you are doing, where you will be, and what time you will be there.

During the Event:

  • Set up
    Put up the maze at the entrance of your event so that everyone must walk through it to enter the event. Station leaders from your group at the start and end of the maze to answer questions from participants and provide a call to action. Survey participants after they have gone through the maze to see if they learned something new or can remember a fact.

  • Document
    Upload photos and videos to social media to reach even more people.

After the Event

  • Contact the media again! Be sure to send a press release and photos to any media outlets who didn’t show up

  • Upload photos and videos to social media

Visual

Visuals can be incredibly powerful, but they’re the most powerful with a call to action. Make sure you provide enough context and information so that your community can take real action to reduce the toll of tobacco. Once you’ve captured their attention with a powerful visual about the problem, give them ways to be part of the solution.

 

Prep Time: Weeks Cost: Low

Have you lost a loved one to tobacco-related disease? Use Kick Butts Day as an opportunity to honor those who have lost their lives to tobacco and to send a message to the tobacco industry.

YOU’LL NEED

  • Markers
  • Memorial cards
  • Flyers
  • Candles (unlit) or flowers (optional)
  • A bell or gong (optional)
  • Duct tape (optional)

Why is this important?

By the time you finish reading this activity, another person will have died from a tobacco-related disease. Over 480,000 people die each year in the U.S. from this deadly addiction. That’s one death every 72 seconds – all day, every day. Still need convincing? Smoking kills more people than AIDS, car accidents, illegal drugs, murders, and suicides COMBINED.

Ready to take action?

Instructions

Before the Event:

  • Identify a busy location and get permission to set up your creative memorial display.

  • Identify your materials – what will your memorial look like? You can use unlit candles, posters with names of those who have died from tobacco-related diseases and signs featuring tobacco industry quotes or some of the shocking statistics mentioned above.

  • Get creative.
    Some memorial events have included other props like flowers, ringing a bell every 72 seconds to represent another tobacco-caused death, or all the participants dressing in black.

    A memorial can also deliver the message that Big Tobacco is trying to silence young people who are speaking out against them. Some youth participants have delivered this message by using black duct tape to tape their mouths shut. It adds to the somber tone of the memorial, attracts a lot of attention and symbolizes what Big Tobacco is doing as it continues to target kids with manipulative marketing.

  • Create a “memorial card” for people to either write the name of a loved one they have lost or a message to the tobacco industry.

  • Start gathering your props. Participants can borrow things from their homes or from friends to avoid having to purchase a lot of items.

  • Contact the media and in the few days before your event send out any press materials you have prepared.

  • Promote your event. If it’s a school activity, make another announcement. Send an email, make phone calls, or hang flyers - whatever it takes to make sure everyone will be there.

During the Event:

  • Make sure you have all your materials, especially any permits, and set up your memorial. Remember, do not light the candles - it’s a fire hazard and most public places won’t allow lit candles.

  • If you’re in a high traffic area, make sure you have people stationed at various points around the venue to hand out fliers and let people know why you are doing this event.

  • Encourage people to leave a tribute to a loved one or a message to Big Tobacco at the memorial and start incorporating these messages into the display.

  • Take photos!  These can be sent to the media and posted to social media.

After the Event:

  • Contact the media again! Be sure to send a press release and photos to any media outlets who didn’t show up.

  • Upload photos and videos to social media.

Visual

Visuals can be incredibly powerful, but they’re the most powerful with a call to action. Make sure you provide enough context and information so that your community can take real action to reduce the toll of tobacco. Once you’ve captured their attention with a powerful visual about the problem, give them ways to be part of the solution.

 

Prep Time: Weeks Cost: Low

Educate your classmates on the toll of tobacco by creating a mysterious display of tobacco statistics and facts on “dots” hung up throughout your school, then connect the dots through school announcements, a story in the school newspaper or an assembly where you “connect the dots.”

Adapted from the South Dakota Department of Health

YOU’LL NEED

INSTRUCTIONS

Before the Event:

  • Identify a Location & Get Permission
    Get permission from your school administrators to hang dots and posters on the walls of your school and host an assembly, if applicable. Identify where you will be placing your dots and posters around your school
  • Get the Facts
    Select which tobacco facts that your group will use to put on your “dots.” Use toll of tobacco statistics or a few key words to create a sense of mystery for your classmates who will see them. For example, instead of saying “Tobacco kills over 480,000 Americans each year”, just put the number 480,000.
  • Create a plan to “Connect the Dots”
    Will you create hang posters to announce the meaning of the numbers and words on the dots around the school? Work with your school newspaper to run a story? Make a school announcement?

During the Event: 

  • Set Up
    Strategically place your dots around the school where other students will take notice.
  • Connect the Dots
    After 1-2 days, get the word out by posting the posters with the facts from the dots around the school and their meaning, running an article in the school paper or sharing a school announcement. Now that you’ve got everyone’s attention, give them a call to action and show them how they can get involved!

If you’re hosting an assembly, announce the meaning of the numbers and words on the baseballs around the school and share what your classmates/school can do take action to reduce tobacco use in your community.

  • Be sure to post pictures and videos to social media and build buzz.
Visual

Visuals can be incredibly powerful, but they’re the most powerful with a call to action. Make sure you provide enough context and information so that you’ve captured their attention with a powerful visual about the problem,  give them ways to be part of the solution!

Prep Time: Weeks Cost: Low

Organize a track meet to show how cigarettes can affect peoples’ ability to perform well as athletes and to educate the harmful effects and hazards of tobacco. This meet will consist of several different events that highlight the impact that tobacco use has on the body’s ability to perform.

Adapted from the South Dakota Department of Health

YOU’LL NEED

  • Track meet supplies, including batons (empty paper towel or aluminum foil roll) and a shot put (or ball as a substitute), distance markers (tobacco advertisements or posts)
  • Straws or coffee stirrers
  • Poster board
  • Markers
  • Tape measure
  • Prize for the winning team

INSTRUCTIONS

Before the Event

  • Identify a Location &  Your Track Meet Events: Get permission with your school administrators to organize a track meet at your school. As a group, identify your stations and activity leaders prior to the event. Gather any supplies you will need.
  • Contact the media and make sure they know what you are doing, where you will be, and what time you will be there.

During the Event: 

  • Set up all your activity stations
  • At the beginning of the event, assign one of your youth leaders to give an overview of the activities

RELAY- Get Rid of that Cigarette as Fast as You Can!

Decorate your baton with paper or paint to look like a cigarette and cover the cigarette baton with hazard and warning label.

Throughout the relay activities that you and your group came up with, tell everyone they need to get rid of the cigarette baton as fast as they can by passing it off to their teammates.

FIRST ACTIVITY- Breathe Through a Straw

All participants will participate in this activity that will demonstrate the impact of smoking on one’s ability to perform athletically.

NOTE: anyone with asthma or breathing disorder SHOULD NOT participate in this event.

  • Give everyone a soda straw or coffee stirrer and ask them to only breathe through it for 30 seconds.
  • Then have participants hold their noses and ask them to continue to breathe through the straw for another 30 seconds
  • Tell your participants that you are going to make it harder by asking them to run in place for 30 seconds
  • Ask them to run a bit faster for 20 seconds, then a bit faster for 15 seconds.
  • Stop and ask people who they feel- what did it feel like to have to breathe only through a straw? Get feedback from participants and let them know that this is how a person with a breathing problem (like emphysema) feels when they try to breathe. 

SHOT PUT EVENT- Crush “Big Tobacco!”

This event is like a normal shot-put event where everyone is trying to throw the shot put as far as possible.

  1. Create distance markers by decorating each post to look like cigarettes, or making a line of tobacco advertisements for kids to “crush” as they throw the shot put.
  2. Have participants line up and throw the shot-put as far as they can.

LONG JUMP EVENT- How Far Will You Go?

Continue the focus on staying tobacco-free by asking participants to jump as far as they can to stay tobacco-free and to stop Big Tobacco- go long to stay tobacco-free!

  • Use either a long jump pit at your track, if you school has one, or use part of the field.
  • Create a line to start running from and a tape measure to keep track of how far people jump
  • Put up posters and tobacco ads as markers for the participants to jump
  • Decorate the track with posters of statistics regarding tobacco use and its impact on your community
  • Give out prizes to the winners of each event
  • Be sure to upload photos and video to social media

 After the Event: 

  • Contact the media again! Be sure to send a press release and photos to media outlets who didn’t show up!

Prep Time: Days Cost: Low

The goal of this activity is to provide an educational resource and interactive game to increase your group’s knowledge on the tool of tobacco.

Supplies Needed

  • A computer and projector to play the game

  • PowerPoint Files and supporting materials will be sent to Registered Event Organizers the week before Kick Butts Day

  • Prizes (optional)

Instructions

Before the Event

  • Download the Training PowerPoint, Jeopardy PowerPoint game, and host guide and scorecard, and familiarize yourself with materials and facts. Be sure to study up so you are prepared to present the information to players at your event!

    Learn more facts at thetruth.com.

  • Customize the “Tobacco in Your State & Locality” section of the Jeopardy game using statistics specific to your state. Click here to get the facts. Working on a local initiative? Change this section all together to focus on a current program or initiative you’re working on with your group.

  • Add custom questions to the Training PowerPoint, the PowerPoint game and score-card materials (optional)

  • Print out all necessary materials, including your score card.

  • Identify a location where you will host your jeopardy game – will you play in a classroom? During an event? At a community center? Get permission for your location and make sure you have all of your technical needs covered, including a computer, projector and screen.

  • Identify any prizes you will give to winners, if applicable. Prizes can be gear, extra credit, raffle items and more. Get creative!

  • Promote it! Make sure you have a captive audience ready to play the game.

During the Event

  • Present the Kids in Jeopardy Training PowerPoint to players to teach them the facts about tobacco and how they can be the generation to #FinishIT and end smoking for good.

  • Divide the group into even teams (4 maximum) for Jeopardy and encourage them to create team names. Have the host write down team names on the scorecard. One easy way to divide up a large group is to count them off by the number of teams.

  • Explain the rules of Jeopardy to the teams. Distribute noisemakers or buzzers (optional).

  • Once you have completed the game and identified a winning team, distribute any prizes, if applicable.

  • Take pictures!

  • Share a call to action with youth, encouraging them to enlist with truth at thetruth.com.

Note: The Kids in Jeopardy Training PowerPoint is a 30+ minute training tool which included answers for each question in the Jeopardy game (minus descriptions for the sixth category that you will customize for your state, county or community etc).

 

Prep Time: Days Cost: Low Quick & Easy

Remember when the thought of walking on the moon was impossible? Let’s make history together, and help deliver the first tobacco-free generation. Gather pledges to #BeTheFirst tobacco-free generation!

YOU’LL NEED

  • A long roll of paper or printed banner for signatures

  • Markers

  • A high traffic location to hang the banner after the event/

Instructions

Before the Event:

  • Location,  location, location:
    Identify a high-traffic location or event in your school or community where you will set up your #BeTheFirst pledge station. Will you gather pledges at an existing event like a 5K or music festival, or set up your pledge station as a separate event in the cafeteria during lunch periods or a club expo? Consider collecting pledges at a local mall, school cafeteria, concert, Relay for Life, county fair, local sporting event, or at an existing tobacco prevention event you’re already planning!

  • Create your banner:
    Download the banner template (RIGHT CLICK the link to save the template, it may be too large to open in a browser) or get creative and make your own! Please note: Our banner template is a 14 MB file that will print up to 34x72 inches. Make sure you plan ahead and leave enough time to have this professionally printed.

  • Identify materials:
    Gather any materials you may need,  including your banner, markers, a large table or surface for participants to sign the banner on, and additional pamphlets or factsheets supporting your local tobacco prevention work. Don’t forget to identify volunteers to work your event!

  • Spread the word:
    Once you’ve identified your location, it’s time to promote your event! Hang posters that include when and where you will be hosting your event and collecting pledges, promote your event through school announcements, local radio and TV stations, newspapers, social media, community calendars and websites, and word of mouth.

  • Incorporate your message:
    Identify how you can use this activity kit to support any existing tobacco issues you are trying to tackle in your community. How are YOU fighting to create a tobacco-free generation? Are you advocating for a tobacco-free policy in your school or community? Use this activity to educate your community and garner support that you can share with key decision-makers.

During the Event:

  • Set up
    Once you’ve identified an approved location, it’s time to set up. Set up your banner in an easily accessible location where attendees can easily sign their name in support of a tobacco-free generation.

  • Educate
    During the event, be sure to engage with your audience and share your message with them in a clear, concise and compelling way. Let them know why they should care, and how they can help! Explain directions clearly.

  • Document
    During your event, take plenty of pictures and post to Twitter, Instagram and Facebook using the hashtag #BeTheFirst!  Encourage attendees to post to their social media channels as well.

After the Event:

  • Show and tell
    Identify a game plan for your #BeTheFirst banner! Consider where you can display the banner or who you can show it to in order to affect change. Consider hanging the banner in a high traffic location at your school or in the community, using the banner to demonstrate support with key decision-makers, bringing the banner to additional events until it is full of signatures.

VISUAL

Visuals can be incredibly powerful, but they’re the most powerful with a call to action. Make sure you provide enough context and information so that your community can take real action to reduce the toll of tobacco. Once you’ve captured their attention with a powerful visual about the problem, give them ways to be part of the solution.

 

Prep Time: Days Cost: Low Quick & Easy

Take it to the streets with this creative activity designed to get visual and bring attention to the toll of tobacco and tobacco industry marketing. Chalk the walk with the cold, hard truth and bring the facts to your community so that we can #FinishIt!

YOU’LL NEED

INSTRUCTIONS

Before the Event:

  • Choose a high traffic location where you can write your anti-tobacco messages, like a sidewalk in front of your school or at a popular park

  • Get permission and/or a permit if necessary to chalk the walk at your chosen location.

  • Check the forecast! Plan your “Speaking Truth for the Unspoken” activity when the weather will be clear.

  • Create a short one page sheet of quotes and facts for your volunteers to use – choose quotes and facts that are short and to the point. Check out the examples below from thetruth.com:

    • Every 6 seconds, someone in the world dies from a smoking-related disease. #FinishIT

    • Tobacco kills about 30x more people than murder. #FinishIT

    • Big Tobacco’s products kill 113 people from secondhand smoke every day. #FinishIT

    • About 1/3 of youth smokers will eventually die from a tobacco-related disease. #FinishIT

    • The tobacco industry spends over $1 million every hour marketing their products. #FinishIT

    • Nicotine is as addictive as heroin, cocaine, and alcohol. #FinishIT

During the Event:

  • If you plan to have a table, set up your table and have representatives on hand to answer questions and share information about fighting Big Tobacco.

  • Use chalk to create drawings and write out facts about the toll of tobacco.

  • Be visual: Make messages pop with color and drawings, like body outlines.

  • Upload photos and videos to social media with the hashtag #iKickButts

After the Event:

  • Contact the media again! Be sure to send a press release and photos to any media outlets who didn’t show up.

  • Want to elevate your activity? Take photos and upload them to your social media channels using the hashtag #FinishIT to create an online presence to reach a broader audience, and enlist at thetruth.com.

VISUAL

Visuals can be incredibly powerful, but they’re the most powerful with a call to action. Make sure you provide enough context and information so that your community can take real action to reduce the toll of tobacco. Once you’ve captured their attention with a powerful visual about the problem, give them ways to be part of the solution.

 

Prep Time: Weeks Cost: Moderate


YOU’LL NEED

Activity created by

Instructions

Before the Event:

  • This guide provides information about how to implement a photovoice project focused on point of sale. The guide provides lesson plans that can help you facilitate a 5-session project with high school-aged youth. We encourage you to adapt this guide to meet the skills,  interests, and needs of youth with whom you work.

  • Preparation time for each session will vary depending on how knowledgeable members and facilitators are with POS issues and the group members’ familiarity with one another. We estimate at least two hours of planning per session.

    • If possible, consider planning a project that lasts longer than five sessions, as this will allow youth more time to learn about POS issues and photovoice, take and discuss pictures, and plan actions they can take.

During the Event: 

  • This project is divided into three general phases:

    • Introduction to Project, Issues, and oncepts

    • Selecting, Contextualizing, and Codifying

    • Taking Action

  • In this guide you will also find sample lesson plans that could be used in each phase. The sample lesson plans correspond to a project that takes place over five sessions, with each of the first four sessions lasting two hours. The final session is described in less detail because its objectives and specific steps will vary greatly depending on the specific action that your group chooses. We recommend that youth take pictures between sessions #1 and #2 and again between sessions #2 and #3.

After the Event: 

  • Taking Action is a key part of the photovoice process! This guide includes instructions on how youth can decide what they think needs to be addressed, identify decision-makers and key stakeholders, and develop a strategy for sharing and presenting their findings.

Prep Time: Hours Cost: Low Quick & Easy

Get up on your soap box and spread the word of big tobacco’s lies and deception! Use your voice to draw a crowd in this creative, engaging activity by Reality Check of New York.

YOU’LL NEED

  • Sturdy box or stool to stand on (at least 3)

  • Talking points

  • Paper/poster and markers

INSTRUCTIONS

Before the Event:

  • Choose a tobacco related issue to focus on – are you working to get tobacco free parks? Fighting Point of Sale marketing? Or do you want to share information about the toll of tobacco in general?

  • Once you know your key issue(s), develop talking points and prepare your soap box speakers. They will need to be prepared to speak non-stop for five minutes (or more if they are comfortable!) Prepare multiple speakers if possible so they can rotate in and out of speaking.

  • Label your soap box(es) with your different issues and have a third blank soap box which will be used for people who want to join the fight!

  • Identify a high traffic location to place your boxes. Get the proper permission in advance!

  • Contact the media and make sure they know what you are doing, where you will be, and what time you will be there.

During the Event: 

  • Place your boxes anywhere! On the street, in a park, or if you get permission, in a mall or other public place. They should be far enough apart that everyone can be heard by the public, but close enough that it is clear that this is one activity. Having different points of interest will draw people in and hopefully, create a crowd.

  • Stand on (or in) your box and start talking! Talk about the initiatives and DO NOT engage the public. Pretend you are on television and the people are watching your “show”.

  • Have other volunteers on hand on the floor to answer questions if there are any, and provide information about your group and what they can do to get involved.

  • Set up a third “general” soap box for passersby who want to join in. Let them get up on their soap box and tell everyone why they don’t like Big Tobacco. Make sure to ask their permission to record them and put on social media!

After the Event: 

  • Contact the media again! Be sure to send a press release and photos to any media outlets who didn’t show up.

  • Upload photos and videos to social media.

  • Keep those boxes around! This is an activity that can be done anywhere, any time, on any topic!

TIP

Remember, this is a performance, not a lecture! Be BIG! Be passionate! You are there to inform.

Prep Time: Hours Cost: Low Quick & Easy

Are you just a replacement for the 1,300 American customers Big Tobacco loses daily to tobacco-related illnesses? Or are you something more than a replacement? Tell Big Tobacco with this creative “selfie-statement” campaign.

This great activity originated from SWAT Florida and is now this year’s Signature Activity. Join thousands of youth and tell Big Tobacco and the world that you are #notareplacement.

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?

Tobacco kills 1,300 Americans every single day. That is 1,300 American consumers who are no longer purchasing products from tobacco companies. The tobacco industry understands the long-term effect of this daily loss of customers and, to keep replenishing its customer base, has marketed its products aggressively, particularly to youth. In fact, one tobacco industry document actually describes youth as “replacement smokers.” Why? Because Big Tobacco needs to replace their customers who become addicted and die from their products.

Despite recent successes in fighting Big Tobacco, we still see tobacco companies marketing their products to teens through point-of-sale advertising, new products designed to appeal to youth and innovative online strategies. Each day more than 2,800 kids under the age of 18 try smoking for the first time, and another 700 kids become regular smokers.

It is time to use the tobacco industry’s own words to empower youth and community members to stand up to Big Tobacco and declare that you are #notareplacement. Are you with us?

YOU’LL NEED

INSTRUCTIONS

Activity created by

This campaign is designed to involve youth with any level of knowledge about Big Tobacco, from those just learning about the tobacco industry’s marketing tactics to those well versed in their tricks.

These campaign activation strategies are a guide to engage youth in multiple settings and can be used as stand-alone activities or in conjunction with other planned activities.

Before the Activity:

  1. Train your Not A Replacement Activators (a.k.a. youth activists) about how tobacco companies continue to market their products toward youth.

  2. Plan a time to have your Not A Replacement activation table set where youth will see it.

  3. Print plenty of copies of the Not A Replacement Selfie Statements to have at the table.

During the Activity:

  1. Educate youth who visit your table on basic tobacco industry history of marketing to youth using your key messages.

  2. Have youth personalize a Not A Replacement Selfie Statement with descriptions of who they are and what they represent. For example, “I am Not A Replacement, I AM a high school sophomore with a passion for art.

  3. Have youth take pictures of themselves holding their Selfie Statements. These should be taken using their own cameras.

  4. Have youth share photos to generate social media interest on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts. Be sure to have youth use #notareplacement hashtag when posting and sharing pictures.

After the Activity:

Prepare a final news release to highlight the success of the campaign. Check out the Promote Your Event to the Media page for tips.

Prep Time: Weeks Cost: Moderate

Do you know what tobacco products and candy have in common?  Both are marketed to youth. The purpose of this activity is to teach youth the marketing strategies tobacco companies use to appeal to youth, and how these strategies influence kids to start smoking and take up this dangerous addiction.

Participants will play two indoor games designed to teach them different strategies the tobacco industry uses to target youth and the damaging effects of these strategies. Each game culminates in the production of a visual display that your youth group can use to advocate for stricter tobacco marketing policies.

Why is this important?

Youth are three times more sensitive than adults to tobacco advertising. Tobacco marketing is also designed to target youth by using imagery that appeals to young children and adolescents. Specifically, tobacco products are packaged to look similar to products that appeal to youth, such as candy; and products and advertisements are placed where they are highly visible to youth. These tactics work: each day, almost 4,000 youth in the United States try their first cigarette and an additional 1,000 youth under age 18 become new, daily smokers.

You’ll Need

  • Printed activity materials (rules and descriptions included for each game)

  • Poster board

  • Colored pencils/pens/markers

  • Stickers/push pins/glue/tape for visual display

Instructions

Before the Event:

  • Gather the materials for each game and the visual displays.

  • Contact local newspapers and news stations to tell them you will be organizing this activity. Invite them to cover your event.

During the Event: 

  • Introduce the activity by discussing the harmful consequences of smoking and tobacco use, the effects of tobacco marketing and advertising in the retail environment, and how tobacco marketing and advertising affects youth. Use the background information on page 1 as a guide.

  • Play each game with your group following the instructions on pages 3 and 6.

  • Discuss what you learned. Here are some possible discussion questions: What did you learn today? How could these products affect youth? What do you think should be done?

  • Use each game to create a visual display illustrating the ways tobacco marketing and advertising target youth. The included examples on pages 3 and 6 may give you ideas of what the display can look like, but your group can use anything you want to create the display. Be creative! To get the group started, instruct your group to create a poster to show their parents or teachers what they learned during the activity.

  • Upload photos and videos to social media with the hashtag #iKickButts.

After the Event:

  • Share your findings with local school boards and policy makers. Use strategies outlined in the Media Advocacy Kit in this activity guide to get started.

  • Contact the media again! Be sure to send a press release and photos to any media outlets who didn’t show up.

 

Prep Time: Weeks Cost: Low

Can you guess how many tobacco retailers kids in your community see on their way to school? Don’t know? Here’s your chance to find out.

Why is this important?

A walking tobacco audit offers youth a chance to see how many tobacco retailers and how many tobacco advertisements are located along their route to school. Participants will identify the number of tobacco retailers along the major routes to school and tally the tobacco product names, brands, and prices that can be seen from outside those stores. Youth will take photographs of tobacco advertisements to create a visual display of their findings.

You’ll Need

Instructions

Before the Event:

  • Contact local town legislators to schedule a time for youth to share the results of their tobacco audit.

  • Identify your walk route. Be strategic in your choice to make sure there are tobacco retailers on your route.

  • Contact the media and make sure they know what you are doing, where you will be,  and what time you will be there.

  • Make copies of the audit form. You will need one copy of the form for each retailer along your planned route.

  • Familiarize yourself with the ‘How to conduct an audit’ guide.  This will help you focus on the right things during your walking audit.

  • Gather additional materials and equipment needed for each session in appropriate quantities (clipboards, stickers, route map, pens/pencils).

During the Event:

  • Walk your route following the instructions on the audit form.

  • Upload photos and videos to social media with the hashtag #iKickButts.

After the Event:

  • Find a time and place to meet after the walk to debrief.

  • Compile final tallies of tobacco retailers and advertisements from individual audit forms.

  • Discuss what you saw.

  • Create a visual display of tobacco retailers and advertisements along the school route. Be creative!

  • Share your findings with local school boards and policy makers.

  • Contact the media again! Be sure to send a press release and photos to any media outlets who didn’t show up.

Tips
  • While the activity is best suited for an urban environment, you can certainly lead your youth group on a walking audit of tobacco retailers if you live in other locations.

  • To ensure the safety of the participating kids, this activity is best suited for groups of 4-6 kids. Larger groups should be divided into subgroups for the walk and each subgroup should audit a route for a different school in your community.

  • You are only observing advertisements that are visible from outside of the store. If someone questions what you are doing, let them know that your group is working on a project to learn more about advertising in your community.

Prep Time: Weeks Cost: Low


Pictograph comparing the number of tobacco retailers
to the number of fast food restaurants

Communities are saturated with fast food restaurants. But how about tobacco retailers? What if our Fast Food Nation is really more of a Tobacco Retailer Nation? Participants will map tobacco retailers and fast food restaurants in their community.

This activity will show the density of tobacco retailers—the number of outlets selling tobacco for a given geographic location or population size- compared with fast food restaurant density.

This exercise can create a compelling argument and visual evidence to limit the number of tobacco retailers.

You’ll Need

  • A computer with internet access

Instructions

Before the Event:

  • Decide what geographic area you want to focus on for the activity.  You could choose the zip code, city, or county level.

  • In your group, think of the popular fast food chains in your town. Decide which one(s) you want to use. Use the Store Locator on fast food chains’ websites to find out addresses and make sure you don’t forget any stores.

  • Identify the tobacco retailers in your area. Find tobacco retailer data from local or state licensing lists, SYNAR data, or your own brainpower and knowledge of your town!

During the Event:

  • Divide up the investigation. Assign either a fast food chain or a tobacco retailer category (pharmacy, gas station, convenience store or supermarket) to each person/pair.

  • Map the locations! Using Google Maps, create a shared map that everyone in your group has access to. If you don’t already use Google Maps, learn how to make a custom map here. Use different color pins to show fast food chains vs. tobacco retailers. Don’t have access to Google Maps? Use a printed map and different color thumb tacks to show the different stores or make a pictograph to represent the number of stores in each category.

  • Figure out some stats! Determine the ratio of tobacco retailer to the fast food chain you selected. Use the population of your geographic area to find out how many tobacco retailers vs. fast food restaurants there are per person. Use the area to find out how many tobacco retailers vs. fast food restaurants there are per square mile in your geographic area.

  • Bonus: Map out where the schools are in relation to the tobacco retailers and fast food chains, in order to show the proximity between youth and tobacco. If you have time, add in parks, community centers and/or places of worship.

  • Upload photos and videos to social media with the hashtag #iKickButts.

After the Event:

  • Make multiple teams and try to tackle the whole county! This could be a great year-round activity.

  • Send your finalized map and statistics to your legislators.

  • Turn your map into a game for events.  Have people guess which pins represent fast food chains and which are tobacco retailers. Write up your statistics without the numbers and have people try to fill in the blanks.

Prep Time: Weeks Cost: Low

Activity created by

The purpose of this activity is 1) to raise awareness and inform youth about the marketing strategies tobacco companies use and how these strategies target kids to start smoking and 2) equip youth with strategies they can use to create change in their community to limit the deadly influence of the tobacco industry.

Why is this important

The retail store, also known as the point of sale (POS), is the primary channel for tobacco industry marketing efforts, accounting for 89% of their total advertising, marketing and promotional budget.

Exposure to POS advertising and promotions prompts smoking initiation, encourages tobacco use, and undermines quit attempts. Youth are three times more sensitive than adults to tobacco advertising.

Tobacco marketing is also designed to target youth by using imagery that appeals to young children and adolescents. Specifically, tobacco products are packaged to look similar to products that appeal to youth, such as candy; and products and advertisements are placed where they are highly visible to youth.

You’ll Need

Instructions

Before the Event:

  • Identify who will be conducting the store assessments. How many people do you have? Make sure you have chaperones or adults to accompany you to the stores.

  • Pick a day when everyone is available and, if possible a time when the stores might not be as bust. Be sure to visit stores during daylight.

  • Identify a list of stores to visit. Common store types include grocery stores, supermarket, gas stations, convenience stores, newsstands, pharmacies and drug stores.

  • Contact key stakeholders to schedule a time to share the results of your tobacco assessments.

  • Gather the other necessary materials.

  • Make copies of the assessment form. You will need one copy of the form for each retailer you plan to visit.

  • Make maps of where the stores are located.

  • Find a time to discuss the harmful consequences of smoking and tobacco use, the effects of tobacco marketing and advertising in the retail environment, and how tobacco marketing and advertising affects you with the group doing store audits. Review the "What to Look For" and the assessment form materials. Make sure everyone understands what you will be looking for during the assessment.

During the Event:

  • Distribute retailer maps and materials to each group.

  • Designate what time and where the groups will meet back.

  • Do your assessments! Follow the instructions in this guide.

  • Upload photos and videos to social media with the hashtag #iKickButts.

After the Event: 

  • Compile tallies of tobacco retailers and advertisements from individual forms.

  • Discuss what you saw.

  • Create a visual display of what you saw. Be creative!

  • Share your findings with local school boards and policy makers and other key stakeholders in your community.

  • Use the photos to make a slide show showcasing the best POS examples in your community.

Tip

2-3 youth per team work the best. One team will fit into a car, and teams usually won’t overwhelm stores.

Prep Time: Days Cost: Low Quick & Easy

Use this activity to creatively expose Big Tobacco’s lies and tricks by airing out their dirty laundry!

You’ll need

Instructions

Before the Activity

  • Begin collecting donations  of light-colored secondhand clothing for your display. Engage other clubs and organizations in your Kick Butts Day project by having them help collect articles of clothing! Having trouble collecting enough clothing? Cut t-shirts and pant shapes out of colored paper and hang those up.

  • Identify a high traffic location to set up your display, like the cafeteria or your local mall. Get the proper permission in advance!

  • Contact the media and make sure they know what you are doing, where you will be, and what time you will be there.

During the Activity

  • Make a sign  that says “We’re Airing Out Big Tobacco’s ‘Dirty Laundry.’”

  • Write quotes from the tobacco industry on the articles of clothing  to expose what the industry has said historically about marketing tobacco products to young adults.

  • Create your display  by hanging up the decorated clothing on a clothesline.

  • Set up a table or booth  manned by your group members to share additional information on fighting Big Tobacco on hand.

  • Upload photos and videos to social media with the hashtag #iKickButts.

After the Activity

  • Contact the media again! Be sure to send a press release and photos to any media outlets who didn’t show up.

VISUAL:

Visuals can be incredibly powerful, but they’re the most powerful with a call to action. Make sure you provide enough context and information so that your community can take real action to reduce the toll of tobacco. Once you’ve captured their attention with a powerful visual about the problem, give them ways to be part of the solution.

Prep Time: Weeks Cost: Low

Capture attention with a flash mob! A flash mob is sure to get an audience and can be used to promote your message in visual and creative way.  Here is a video of a previous flash mob held in honor of Kick Butts Day.

You’ll need

  • A medium to large group of participants

  • Markers and paper for signs

  • T-shirts for all participants (optional)

  • Music or a chant

Instructions

Before the Event:

  • Pick a high-traffic location for the event. A busy area, such as a mall, works best. If necessary, make sure you have the right permission and permits for the area you are performing in.

  • Recruit interested participants for your flash mob, including a choreographer if necessary.

  • Plan your flash mob action – will everyone freeze and hold up a sign? Does your flash mob involve a song and dance? Assess what materials you will need to make sure your flash mob is a success and be sure to PRACTICE!

  • Decide whether participants should all wear the same t-shirt. You can make or buy t-shirts with your message. If you don’t have t-shirts, consider having participants all wear one color.

  • Create eye-catching, easy to read posters with messages about tobacco’s toll.

  • If you plan to have a table at the site of the flash mob, create a banner for the table and make sure you have resources available for participants here. Don’t forget to include a call to action!

  • Contact the media and make sure they know what you are doing, where you will be,  and what time you will be there.

During the Event:

  • If you plan to have a table, set up your table and banner.

  • Your group should disperse and wander through the area, blending in with the other people in the crowd.

  • Identify someone to video-tape and photograph your flash mob! Videos and pictures can be posted to social media and sent to the media.

  • At the pre-determined time or signal, your flash mob action will begin. When you’ve finished your flash mob, be prepared for people to ask questions!

After the Event:

  • Contact the media again! Be sure to send a press release and photos to any media outlets who didn’t show up.

  • Upload photos and videos to social media with the hashtag #iKickButts.

VISUAL:

Visuals can be incredibly powerful, but they’re the most powerful with a call to action. Make sure you provide enough context and information so that your community can take real action to reduce the toll of tobacco. Once you’ve captured their attention with a powerful visual about the problem, give them ways to be part of the solution.

 

Cost: Low Quick & Easy

Spell out your message! Place colorful cups in a chain-link fence in a high traffic location to make a statement and create a powerful visual display highlighting the toll of tobacco.

You’ll need

  • Colored plastic cups

  • A chain-link fence in a high traffic location

  • Graph paper

Instructions

Before the event:

  • Find a fence that many people pass by every day.  Consider tying your activity to a popular community event – is there a 5K race happening? A community field day?

  • Get permission from the owner of the property or the event organizer to decorate the fence, and agree to clean it up after your event.

  • Decide what message you would like to display.  The message can be a few simple words such as “Tobacco Lies,” or a phrase of your choice.

  • Map out your message on graph paper ahead of time – make sure you have enough cups!

  • Contact the media and make sure they know what you are doing, where you will be,  and what time you will be there.

During the event:

  • Put plastic cups through the holes of your fence to spell it out!

  • If you plan to have a table, set up your table and have representatives on hand to answer questions and share information about fighting Big Tobacco.

  • Take photos and post them to social media!

  • Contact the media again! Be sure to send a press release and photos to any media outlets who didn’t show up.

After the event:

  • Contact the media again! Be sure to send a press release and photos to any media outlets who didn’t show up.

  • Upload photos and videos to social media with the hashtag #iKickButts.

VISUAL:

Visuals can be incredibly powerful, but they’re the most powerful with a call to action. Make sure you provide enough context and information so that your community can take real action to reduce the toll of tobacco. Once you’ve captured their attention with a powerful visual about the problem, give them ways to be part of the solution.

Prep Time: Days Cost: Low

This eye-catching visual will make the toll of tobacco real. Make an impact and spark conversation about what we can do to reduce tobacco use. Creating a powerful visual display can help people in your community realize the deadly consequences of tobacco use and the tactics used by the tobacco industry to market their products.

You’ll need

  • Posters

  • Markers

  • Body bags (ask your local police department or hospital) or black trash bags

  • Newspaper and other materials to make the “body bags” look full

Instructions

Before the Event:

  • Decide how many body bags you will use. You can use a specific number to represent a statistic (see “Fatal Figures”) or you can use the body bags to display facts or show smoking-related deaths.

  • Stuff the body bags with paper or fake money and leave the bag slightly open.

  • If you choose to use fake money, include a sign that says “If you smoke one pack a day, this is what Big Tobacco thinks your life is worth.” Write a dollar amount on each bag. (To come up with your numbers, multiply the number of packs smoked a day by the price per pack,  multiply that by 365, and then multiply that by the number of years the “person” has smoked.)

  • Make posters with your statistic on them.

  • Identify a high traffic location to set up your display. Get the proper permission in advance!

  • Contact the media and make sure they know what you are doing, where you will be, and what time you will be there.

During the Event:

  • Set up your display in a high traffic location and be prepared for questions!

  • If you plan to have a table, set up your table and have representatives on hand to answer questions and share information about fighting Big Tobacco.

  • Upload photos and videos to social media with the hashtag #iKickButts.

After the Event:

  • Contact the media again! Be sure to send a press release and photos to any media outlets who didn’t show up.

VISUAL

Visuals can be incredibly powerful, but they’re the most powerful with a call to action. Make sure you provide enough context and information so that your community can take real action to reduce the toll of tobacco. Once you’ve captured their attention with a powerful visual about the problem, give them ways to be part of the solution.

Prep Time: Days Cost: Low

This eye-catching visual will be sure to get people talking. Make an impact and spark conversation about what we can do to reduce tobacco use. Creating a powerful visual display can help people in your community realize the deadly consequences of tobacco use and the tactics used by the tobacco industry to market their products.

You’ll need

  • Cardboard or poster board

  • Gray paint or spray paint

  • Black paint or markers

Instructions

Before the Event:

  • Identify a high traffic location to set up your display. Get the proper permission in advance!

  • Cut out cardboard in a tombstone shape. Consider how you are going to display your tombstones. They can be taped to a wall or free-standing. If they are free-standing, create a stand or a stake to hold them up.

  • Paint each of the tombstones gray.

  • Brainstorm messages to display. The messages can include tobacco-related causes of death (lung cancer, emphysema, learn more ways tobacco effects your health), names of those whose lives have been lost from tobacco use, or quotes from the tobacco industry related to death and disease.

  • Contact the media and make sure they know what you are doing, where you will be, and what time you will be there.

During the Event:

  • Display your finished tombstones in a populated area.

  • Upload photos and videos to social media with the hashtag #iKickButts.

  • If you plan to have a table, set up your table and have representatives on hand to answer questions and share information about fighting Big Tobacco.

After the Event:

  • Contact the media again! Be sure to send a press release and photos to any media outlets who didn’t show up.

VISUAL

Visuals can be incredibly powerful, but they’re the most powerful with a call to action. Make sure you provide enough context and information so that your community can take real action to reduce the toll of tobacco. Once you’ve captured their attention with a powerful visual about the problem, give them ways to be part of the solution.

Prep Time: Weeks Cost: Low

Pick a policy issue, and contact your legislators (local, state or even Federal) asking them to support or vote against a policy. Make sure that your elected officials hear your voice!

Instructions

Before the Event:

  • Choose an issue to focus on when speaking to your legislator. What is the problem?  What is the solution? Is there a tobacco tax increase proposal in your state?  Are advocates still fighting for smoke-free air? Contact us to see what’s going on in your state, and how we can help.

  • Develop talking points on your issue and have a plan to contact your elected officials. You can call your elected officials, mail or e-mail them materials or meet with them in person.

  • Call your legislator’s office and ask to schedule a meeting on Kick Butts Day.  Be sure to tell them what the meeting’s about, your address (proving that you live in their district), and what school or group you are from. Emphasize that you are with a local, youth-driven group.

  • Find an expert on your issue, and ask them to conduct training for your group. It’s crucial that when you visit a legislator you present all factual information.

  • Develop a leave-behind folder with fact sheets and other materials about your issue,  including information about your group and a business card or other way for the legislator or their aides to get in touch with you if they have any questions.

  • Decide who will go with you to the meeting (a parent, teacher, other adult) and outline what you are going to say. The more people who live in that elected official’s district the better, but try to limit each of the meetings to 4 people or fewer.

  • Contact the media and make sure they know what you are doing, where you will be, and what time you will be there.

During the Event:

  • Tell your story: why do YOU care about tobacco? Why does the issue matter? What makes you passionate about fighting Big Tobacco?

  • Upload photos and videos to social media with the hashtag #iKickButts.

After the Event: 

  • Make sure to send each member involved in the meeting a thank you note or email.

Prep Time: Weeks Cost: Moderate

Hold an anti-tobacco rally in your community or at your state capital. Rallies are a great way to get media attention, and build excitement towards a policy issue. Gather with other youth advocates in a central location, and start planning what you want your rally to look like!

Kick Butts Day 2014 from The 84 on YouTube

You’ll need

  • Megaphones

  • Posters and markers

  • Sound equipment

  • Podium

  • Permit

Instructions

Before the Event:

  • Choose a theme: Establish a planning team and pick a theme for your rally. Is there a tobacco tax increase proposal in your state? Are advocates still fighting for smoke-free workplaces? Contact us to see what’s going on in your state, and how you can help.

  • Choose your location: Rallies should be held in high traffic areas, like outside a legislative building or downtown. Once you decide on a location, apply for a permit through your town. Also, if you need transportation, start planning what means of transportation you will use and how you will pay for it.

  • Identify and recruit partners: Every good rally needs lots of participants. Seek partners to increase your number of participants, share in the cost of your event, and help with logistics.

  • Choose speakers: Find youth or policymakers who are passionate about tobacco use, and invite them to speak. Make sure they are prepared to support your issue/theme.

  • Recruit participants: Create a Facebook event, pass out flyers, and publicize your rally.

  • Create a rally schedule: Map out where your rally will be held and what time each of the speakers will go.

  • Develop your messaging: Now that you have a theme, come up with some chants or other appropriate messaging for youth to use at the rally.

  • Send invitations: Invite elected officials, the media, decision-makers and other stakeholders in your community.

  • Contact the media and make sure they know what you are doing, where you will be, and what time you will be there.

During the Event:

  • Upload photos and videos to social media with the hashtag #iKickButts.

After the Event:

  • Contact the media again! Be sure to send a press release and photos to any media outlets who didn’t show up.

Prep Time: Days Cost: Low

Cigarette butts are ugly, bad for the environment, and expensive to clean up. This activity by Forget Tobacco makes it cool, easy, and cheap for you to clean up tobacco litter in your town. After all, cigarette butts are the number one cause of litter in the world.

You’ll need

  • Gloves

  • Trash bags

Instructions

Before the Event:

  • Check with the city to see if you need a permit for the location of the cleanup.

  • Recruit volunteers and invite local leaders and media to the clean-up.

  • Map out your location – assign groups of volunteers to different areas if necessary.

  • Contact the media and make sure they know what you are doing, where you will be, and what time you will be there.

Activity created by

During the Event: 

  • Meet with your volunteers at your designated location, hand each group of participants a trash bag and gloves, and have them get to work! Be sure your participants count the butts along the way.

  • If you plan to have a table, set up your table and have representatives on hand to answer questions and share information about fighting Big Tobacco.

  • Upload photos and videos to social media with the hashtag #iKickButts.

After the Event: 

  • Spread the message in your town. How many butts did you clean up? The number may disgust your neighbors and elected officials, and lead to policy change in your hometown!

  • Contact the media again! Be sure to send a press release and photos to any media outlets who didn’t show up.

Tip

Don’t just count your butts – take plenty of pictures! A picture is worth 100 words, and a giant pile of tobacco litter speaks volumes.

 

Prep Time: Weeks Cost: Low Quick & Easy

How do you get people to realize just how deadly tobacco is? The answer: by creating a powerful visual to show the “fatal figures” for your state or your community

You’ll need

  • Any items that can creatively symbolize numbers (shoes, lunch boxes)

  • Signage with your statistic

Instructions

Before the Event:

  • Choose your “Fatal Figure” – make sure the number is feasible; it’s very difficult to find 400,000 lunchboxes! To get started, check out our Toll of Tobacco page.

  • Identify what items would work best for your display – is it shoes? Lunch boxes? Tombstones? Body bags?

  • Identify a high traffic location and get permission for your display, if necessary.

  • Collect the items you will use to represent your statistic. Work with friends or your club, and explore collaborating with other organizations that support your mission. Make sure you give yourself enough time to collect all the items you need!

  • Create posters and other visuals to explain the number. Be sure that your messaging is consistent throughout the event (pick one number, and stick to it!)

  • If necessary, have a plan for the items you have collected once your event is over (example: donating shoes to a local charity).

  • Invite the media! Local papers and TV stations can capture the power of your visual and share your message with a much larger audience.

During the Event:

  • Create your visual display in an area where many people will see it.

  • Have representatives from your group on hand to talk about the statistic, and what you’re doing in your school or community to lower the rate of tobacco use. Set up a table or booth if you’re able to with materials and a call to action!

  • Upload photos and videos to social media with the hashtag #iKickButts.

After the Event:

  • Contact the media again! Be sure to send a press release and photos to any media outlets who didn’t show up.

VISUAL

Visuals can be incredibly powerful, but they’re the most powerful with a call to action. Make sure you provide enough context and information so that your community can take real action to reduce the toll of tobacco. Once you’ve captured their attention with a powerful visual about the problem, give them ways to be part of the solution.

 

Prep Time: Days Cost: Low Quick & Easy

There’s a lot more than just tobacco in cigarettes. Cigarettes contain over 7,000 chemicals – including at least 69 cancer-causing toxins.

You’ll need

  • Batteries

  • Vinegar

  • Hair dye

  • Nail polish remover

  • Cleaning supplies

  • Disinfectant

  • Paint (see list of chemicals for more ideas)

Instructions

Before the Event:

  • Track down some household items that contain the same ingredients as cigarettes.

  • Organize a place where you can display these products in a populated area, either at your school’s lunch period or downtown when there’s heavy foot traffic. Get the proper permission in advance!

  • Create a large display with all of the chemical names, and title it “What’s in a cigarette?

  • Contact the media and make sure they know what you are doing, where you will be, and what time you will be there.

During the Event:

  • When passersby approach your display, explain that these household items contain the same ingredients as what’s in a cigarette.

  • If you plan to have a table, set up your table and have representatives on hand to answer questions and share information about fighting Big Tobacco.

  • Upload photos and videos to social media with the hashtag #iKickButts.

After the Event:

  • Contact the media again! Be sure to send a press release and photos to any media outlets who didn’t show up.

VISUAL

Visuals can be incredibly powerful, but they’re the most powerful with a call to action. Make sure you provide enough context and information so that your community can take real action to reduce the toll of tobacco. Once you’ve captured their attention with a powerful visual about the problem, give them ways to be part of the solution.

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