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Tennessee Youngsters "Kick Butts" to Fight Tobacco Use

Tuesday, March 22, 2011 | 04:24am

National Kick Butts Day is March 23, 2011

NASHVILLE – Tennessee youngsters will join thousands of their peers across the country taking part in Kick Butts Day on March 23, 2011. This nationwide day of youth activism encourages young people to be leaders in the effort to stop youth tobacco use.

“Young people are a powerful part of the solution to reducing tobacco use among our children and teenagers,” said Health Commissioner Susan R. Cooper, MSN, RN. “I applaud the efforts of all Tennessee kids setting a healthy example by taking part in Kick Butts Day and sharing this lifesaving message with their peers.”

In Tennessee, nearly 21 percent of high school students, or more than 70,000 teenagers, are smokers, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. The organization also reports 8,100 Tennessee juveniles become new daily smokers each year. Statistics also show how deadly this daily habit can be. The group estimates 132,000 juveniles now alive in Tennessee will ultimately die prematurely as a result of smoking.

Secondhand smoke is another serious problem. The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids reports 488,000 Tennessee children are exposed to secondhand smoke in their homes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates secondhand smoke is responsible for 35,000 deaths nationwide each year from heart disease in non-smokers who live with smokers, as well as lung cancer deaths, lung infections and asthma attacks.

The Tennessee Tobacco QuitLine, 1-800-QUIT-NOW, can help by offering personalized support for Tennessee teens and adults who want to quit smoking. Callers are connected with trained quit coaches to guide them through the quitting process, and receive ongoing professional coaching with a quit coach personally assigned to them. QuitLine callers also have complimentary access to relapse prevention techniques, printed resource materials, information on nicotine replacement therapies and other services to help in the quitting process. This convenient and confidential service is free and available to Tennesseans seven days a week in both English and Spanish. The service is also available for the deaf and hard of hearing at TTY: 1-877-559-3816. Learn more by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visiting the website http://health.state.tn.us/tobaccoquitline.htm.

The Tennessee Department of Health’s county health clinics also offer smoking cessation services to help both teenage and adult smokers kick the habit. Contact your local health department for details. A list of Tennessee’s health department locations can be found online at http://health.state.tn.us/localdepartments.htm.

Kick Butts Day is a national effort led by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. To learn more and find a list of Tennessee events planned for Kick Butts Day 2011, go to http://kickbuttsday.org/.

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