Youth in Choctaw County participate in Kick Butts Day 2013

From press reports

Mississippi youth in Choctaw County will join kids in other states,
and even countries, all across the world on March 20 to voice their
opposition to big tobacco companies during 2013 Kick Butts Day.

Kick Butts Day is a national day for activism when thousands of youth
around the world will speak up and stand out against the tobacco
industry. As part of this year’s Kick Butts Day celebration, the
Mississippi Tobacco-Free Coalition of Choctaw County is working with
students at Ackerman Elementary to help empower youth to speak up and
take action.

“Kick Butts Day is an opportunity for participating youth to speak
out and tell others they are not going to be influenced by pressure
to use tobacco products. While Kick Butts Day is officially held on
one day each year, our hope is that every day will be Kick Butts Day
in the fight against tobacco.” said Verna Fleming, Director of
Mississippi Tobacco Free Coalition.

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the United
States, killing more than 400,000 people every year. Each year, 3,900
Mississippi kids under the age of 18 become new, daily smokers. Sixty-
nine thousand Mississippi kids now under 18 will ultimately die
prematurely from smoking, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free
Kids.

“Mississippi’s kids play a huge role in helping to reduce youth
tobacco use in our state,” said Roy Hart, Director of the Mississippi
State Department of Health (MSDH) Office of Tobacco Control. “The
kids participating in Kick Butts Day 2013 are sending two very
important messages: they want to raise awareness of the problem of
tobacco use in their community and they want to urge elected leaders
to do more to protect them from tobacco.”

Through MSDH’s local tobacco-free coalitions, young advocates take
part in a variety of tobacco prevention activities throughout the
school year, including working with elected leaders to develop
policies that reduce youth tobacco use and exposure to secondhand
smoke, and educating their peers about the risks of tobacco use.

For more information about Kick Butts Day events in Choctaw County or
for tobacco cessation information, contact Mississippi Tobacco Free
Coalition of Choctaw, Montgomery & Webster Counties at (662) 753 -
9205, visit www.tobaccofreems.org or follow us on Facebook at
www.facebook.com/MSTobaccoFree.