Kids in Nebraska united against tobacco use March 15, joining thousands of young people nationwide to mark Kick Butts Day. More than 1,000 events are planned across the United States and around the world for this annual day of youth activism, sponsored by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.
No Limits Nebraska bused 75 students from across the state to meet with senators on tobacco prevention and march the streets of downtown Lincoln. The march culminated with a rally at the State Capitol, where youth board members and senators gave speeches.
On Kick Butts Day, kids encourage their peers to be tobacco-free, reject tobacco companies’ marketing and urge elected officials to help make the next generation tobacco-free.
This year, Kick Butts Day is focusing attention on how tobacco companies are enticing kids with a growing market of sweet-flavored products such as electronic cigarettes and cigars, threatening to addict a new generation. These products have proved popular with kids. From 2011 to 2015, e-cigarette use among high school students jumped from 1.5 percent to 16 percent nationwide, and more kids now use e-cigarettes than regular cigarettes. In addition, more high school boys now smoke cigars than cigarettes. E-cigarettes and cigars are sold in a wide assortment of candy and fruit flavors, such as gummy bear, cotton candy and fruit punch.
People are also reading…
In Nebraska, tobacco use claims 2,500 lives and costs $795 million in health care bills each year. Currently, 13.3 percent of Nebraska’s high school students smoke.