Kids Across America ‘Kick Butts’… | Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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Kids Across America ‘Kick Butts’ Today As They Join Together To Make the Next Generation Tobacco-Free

March 18, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C.Thousands of kids across America are taking a stand against tobacco today for the 20th annual Kick Butts Day. More than 1,000 events are taking place nationwide for this day of youth activism, sponsored by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. (A map and list of events in each state can be found at

On Kick Butts Day, youth encourage their peers to stay tobacco-free, demand that tobacco companies stop marketing deadly, addictive products to them and mobilize their communities to do more to reduce youth tobacco use. Over the past two decades, young people have held more than 20,000 Kick Butts Day events aimed at reducing tobacco use and its deadly toll.

The United State has made enormous progress in reducing youth smoking and cut the high school smoking rate by more than half, from a high of 36.4 percent in 1997 to 15.7 percent in 2013.

However, tobacco use remains the nation’s number one cause of preventable death, claiming the lives of more than 480,000 Americans and costing the nation $170 billion in health care bills each year. According to the most recent Surgeon General’s report, 5.6 million kids alive today will die prematurely from tobacco-related diseases without urgent action to prevent it.

On Kick Butts Day, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is urging elected officials to step up implementation of proven strategies to reduce tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke, including higher tobacco taxes, comprehensive smoke-free air laws, and strong tobacco prevention and cessation programs that include mass media campaigns.

In addition to organizing Kick Butts Day events, youth this year are standing up to the tobacco industry on social media through the #NotAReplacement campaign. One tobacco industry document called teens “replacement smokers” for those who quit smoking or die from smoking-related diseases each year. Kids are taking selfies to say they’re not a replacement – they’re musicians, athletes, advocates, nerds and more. These photos are being shared on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the #NotAReplacement hashtag. (View the #NotAReplacement selfie gallery.)

In conjunction with Kick Butts Day, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and the CVS Health Foundation today announced the first four grant recipients in their “Making the Next Generation Tobacco-Free” grant program – a five-year, $5 million partnership. The four grant recipients are: Breathe California of Los Angeles County in Los Angeles, CA; California School-Based Health Alliance in Oakland, CA; Health Promotion Council of Southeastern PA in Philadelphia, PA; and Ohio Public Health Partnership in Columbus, OH.

“We know that most adult smokers began smoking at a very young age. Through efforts like Kick Butts Day and our partnership with CVS Health Foundation, we’re that much closer to our shared mission of making the next generation tobacco-free,” said Matthew L. Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. “With the support of these grants, community partners can expand the tobacco prevention resources they’re able to offer local youth and activate youth to reduce tobacco use so every day can be Kick Butts Day.”

Learn more about Kick Butts Day at Additional information about tobacco, including national and state-by-state statistics, can be found at