Students Take Part In Kick Butts Day - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Students Take Part In Kick Butts Day

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Wednesday marks the 19th annual Kick Butts Day where youth across the country are encouraged to stand up and speak out about tobacco.

Granville High has a tobacco free school policy in place. But, on Wednesday, First District Health Unit and the Towner/Granville Tobacco Coalition were driving that point home.

"It's a chance for the youth to actually speak out against the marketing tactics of big tobacco and to just make everyone aware of it, and to educate them of the dangers of tobacco," says Mary Hanretty, Minot First District Health Tobacco Prevention.

Research shows that 600 kids under the age of 18 become new daily smokers every year in North Dakota. And, 14,000 youths will die prematurely from smoking.

For Granville Sophomore Ashley Libert, those numbers are all too familiar. She's grown up around cigarettes, but doesn't want to become another statistic.

"I've always known the causes of it, and I've never been a big fan of it. So, I want people to realize that it's a big problem, and it can cause a lot of dangers to not only yourself, but your family also," says Libert. 

This pair of shoes represents a North Dakotan who lost their life from using tobacco products.  There are about 800 in the hallways of the elementary and high school.

"That's startling," says Hanretty. "If you take in populations of some of our surrounding small towns, they would be totally wiped out."

In effort to help kick the habit and raise awareness at a young age, the coalition spoke to elementary classes at Granville to educate children about tobacco products.

"They don't realize all of the dangers and the number of dollar amounts that tobacco is costing all of us just in the state of North Dakota," says Hanretty.

While smoking will always be a temptation for young people, Hanretty says education is the key to kicking the habit one pack at a time. 

The Tobacco Coalition meets once a month on Tuesday. For more information on tobacco prevention, contact First District Health Unit at 852-1376 or visit www.breathend.com.

 

 

 

 

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