Youth Initiatives


Ninety percent of all adult smokers begin the deadly addiction as teenagers.

Even though we have made progress in the struggle to keep kids from using tobacco, about 20 percent of American high school students are smokers—and a third of them will die prematurely from smoking-related disease.

The tobacco industry for decades has targeted youth in its marketing, and studies show that as much as a third of underage experimentation with smoking can be attributed to these marketing efforts.

We know what works to keep kids from using tobacco and we believe that the more youth can be messengers about tobacco awareness and prevention, the more other young people – and adults – will respond.

Youth are powerful and effective voices in the fight against tobacco use. They educate their peers and send potent messages to lawmakers about the need to protect children from tobacco addiction. Through our youth advocacy programs, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids fosters a new generation of young leaders who will continue the fight against tobacco until the job is done.

Youth Advocates of the Year

Each year the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids honors the accomplishments of outstanding young people who are among today’s most effective leaders in tobacco control. Our award-winning Youth Advocates have excelled at promoting tobacco prevention at the local, state, national and international level. We celebrate their achievements each spring before an audience of more than 500 business, philanthropic, and government leaders.

Learn more about the Youth Advocates of the Year

Kick Butts Day

Kick Butts Day is a national day of activism when thousands of events take place at schools and other community centers. Launched in 1996 as a creative way to involve young people in addressing tobacco use with a “for kids, by kids” approach, Kick Butts Day harnesses kids’ energy by involving them in events ranging from producing their own videos for public service announcements, to lobbying their local, state and federal officials to enact smoke-free laws and other policies to reduce tobacco use and protect non-smokers.

Learn more about Kick Butts Day