Local students to hold “Kick Butts Day” in Sheffield


SHEFFIELD-Students from local middle school and high schools are holding a cigarette butt cleanup in Sheffield for “Kick Butts Day” on Wednesday.  They will compete to see who can collect the most cigarette butts strewn around the community. The activities are led by the Partnership for a Tobacco-Free Shoals and Smoke-Free Shoals. Students and adult sponsors will interview smokers as they purchase cigarettes about how or why they would quit smoking. The youth will display anti-tobacco messages at schools by placing cups in fences and creating bulletin boards with facts and information.

Kick Butts Day, an annual day of youth activism and leadership against tobacco use, is sponsored and led by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. Thousands of events are taking place across the country to stand up to big tobacco, which targets youth as “replacement smokers” as their current customers die or quit.

Time: 8 AM. Location: 101 Mable Avenue, Sheffield.

This year, Kick Butts Day is focusing attention on the outrageous marketing tactics tobacco companies still use to target youth. These tactics include:
· Splashy ads in magazines with large youth readership, such as Sports Illustrated, Glamour and Rolling Stone.
· Widespread advertising and price discounts in stores, which make tobacco products appealing and affordable to kids.
· Sweet-flavored tobacco products such as electronic cigarettes and small cigars that come in flavors like gummy bear, cotton candy, watermelon and fruit punch. While youth cigarette smoking has fallen to record lows, the most recent government survey shows that e-cigarette use among high school students tripled from 2013 to 2014 (from 4.5 percent to 13.4 percent).

Nationwide, tobacco companies spend $9.6 billion a year – over one million dollars every hour – to market tobacco products. In Alabama, tobacco companies spend $216.1 million annually on marketing efforts.

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