March 19 marks Kick Butts Day, a national day of activism in the United States that raises awareness about tobacco use and to empower them to stand against it. Parents, teachers, youth leaders, and health advocates are encouraged to organize events and other activities to help the youth realize the dangers of using tobacco and encourage them to avoid cigarette smoking.
The tobacco epidemic has affected countless lives and will very likely destroy more in the coming years. According to the CDC, approximately 443,000 people in the United States die from smoking or from being exposed to secondhand smoke, which is more deadly. As if that is not enough already, another 8.6 million individuals are currently suffering from at least one serious illness that is caused by tobacco use.
How to Help
The first step would be to organize or participate an event that zeroes in on our goals:
To take down tobacco smoking from its top spot as the number one cause of preventable death fifty years from now.
Reduce the rate of smoking from 18 percent to less than ten in a span of ten years
Provide Americans from the dangerous secondhand smoke
Wipe out the number of diseases and deaths caused by cigarette smoking
You can help urge government officials to increase tobacco taxes and strengthen smoke-free workplace laws (if there are already), as well as to create programs that would prevent kids and young adults from smoking and to convince those that have already have it as a habit to quit.
We know what works to reduce the death and disease caused by tobacco: tobacco tax increases; comprehensive smoke-free workplace laws; and well-funded, sustained programs to prevent kids from smoking and help smokers quit. Slowly but surely, by starting early, we can lower the number of people who will suffer from the effects of cigarette smoking. Hopefully, more and more smokers can realize that the dangers of tobacco use far outweigh the temporary, seemingly “positive” effects it has on people.