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Marine Corps Marathon Runners to Raise Awareness About Dangers of Tobacco with New Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids “1200” Wristbands

October 27, 2004

Washington, DC — Marine Corps Marathon participants and supporters will help kick off an awareness campaign about the devastating toll of tobacco by wearing the new Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids “1200” wristbands. The red wristbands are engraved with the number 1200, signifying the number of Americans who die each day from diseases caused by smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke.

Each registered runner will receive a wristband in the registration packet. Wristbands will also be available for sale at $1 each at the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids’ booth at the Marine Corps Marathon Expo and, beginning November 1, on the Internet at Proceeds will benefit the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting children from tobacco addiction and saving lives by reducing tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke.

“The 1200 wristband serves as a constant reminder of the devastating toll that tobacco takes on our children and our families,” said Matthew L. Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. “Wearing the wristband is a simple yet empowering way for kids and adults to take a stand against tobacco. It is a reminder of those we have lost to tobacco, a symbol of commitment and encouragement for those trying to quit, and an expression of support for effective action against this serious problem.”

Smoking kills more people than alcohol, AIDS, car accidents, illegal drugs, murders, and suicides combined. Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, killing more than 400,000 Americans and costing the nation more than $75 billion in health care bills each year. Ninety percent of smokers start at or before the age of 18. Every day, 4,000 kids try their first cigarette and another 2,000 become regular smokers, one-third of whom will die prematurely as a result.