Mar. 27 1998
Washington, DC - TEENS KICK BUTTS IN CYBERSPACE: TV Stars Larisa Oleynik and Rider Strong Host Anti-Smoking Online Chat Wednesday, April 1 @ 7:00 PM (EST) on the Celebrity Sightings Website Teen actors Larisa Oleynik and Rider Strong, celebrity Youth Ambassadors for the CAMPAIGN FOR TOBACCO-FREE KIDS, will encourage kids to join in the battle against Big Tobacco when they host a special "cyber chat" on Wednesday, April 1. The hour-long chat, at 7:00 PM (Eastern Time) on www.celebritysightings.com, occurs the night before the CAMPAIGN FOR TOBACCO-FREE KIDS' third annual Kick Butts Day. This nationwide event mobilizes thousands of young people in more than 150 cities to help curb tobacco use by kids and expose the harmful effects of marketing tobacco products to America's youth. Oleynik and Strong will be joined in the chat room by the CAMPAIGN FOR TOBACCO-FREE KIDS' 1997 Youth Advocate of the Year, Anna Markee, and the CAMPAIGN's president, Bill Novelli. They are inviting teens across America to participate and share their views on tobacco control issues. Larisa Oleynik, 16, is the star of Nickelodeon's "The Secret World of Alex Mack." She attends high school in Northern California and writes a monthly advice column for teens in Tiger Beat magazine. Rider Strong, 18, co-stars on ABC's "Boy Meets World" and has recently produced an anti-smoking documentary film. Both have been involved with the CAMPAIGN since 1996 and are featured in last year's Kick Butts video. Oleynik and Strong both are very concerned that tobacco companies are able to trick 6,000 kids a day into picking up a cigarette for the first time. Celebrity Sightings is an entertainment and fan club website featuring teen celebrities. Live online chats are offered with some of today's hottest teen stars, including Oleynik, Jonathan Taylor Thomas ("Home Improvement"), Danielle Fishel ("Boy Meets World") and Andrew Keegan ("7th Heaven"). The most popular destination on the web for teens, Celebrity Sightings receives up to two million hits per week. The April 1 chat is open to anyone at no charge by accessing www.celebritysightings.com on the Internet, registering for a free, Basic Membership, clicking on the software toolbox and downloading the "ichat" software. The chat rooms will open at 5 p.m. Eastern time. Please complete the registration as a basic member and install the "ichat" software by this time. "We are excited that Larisa, Rider, Anna and the folks at Celebrity Sightings are helping the CAMPAIGN FOR TOBACCO-FREE KIDS reach teens on the Internet," said CAMPAIGN president Bill Novelli. "Kids listen to other kids, and these terrific role models are very effective in delivering the message that smoking is not cool and in leading a national campaign that puts young people on the front lines of the tobacco wars." The CAMPAIGN FOR TOBACCO-FREE KIDS is the largest initiative ever undertaken to decrease youth tobacco use in the United States. Its mandate is to focus the nation's attention and action on keeping tobacco marketing from seducing children, and making tobacco less accessible to kids. # # # NOTE TO EDITORS: The April 1 chat will take place at the offices of Celebrity Sightings in Marina Del Rey, CA at 4:00 PM (Pacific Time). Members of the press are welcome to attend. Contact Barry Burchell at (310) 754-4007. For more information about Kick Butts Day on April 2, and the hundreds of activities scheduled, visit www.kickbuttsday.org or call Valerie Holford at Fenton Communications: 202/822-5200.