ASHEVILLE, N.C. – March 21, 2012 – Young people from Buncombe County are joining thousands of youth from across the country who are taking part in Kick Butts Day, a nationwide initiative that makes teens leaders in the effort to prevent youth tobacco use.
“The upcoming Kick Butts Day is a great way to get our community involved in healthy living,” said Tiffany Jones, a youth staff member of Youth Empowered Solutions (YES!) and North Buncombe High School student. “Our goal is to provide tangible activities and resources that will not only educate people about the risks of tobacco use, but also empower them to go out into their communities and be advocates for positive change,” said Jones.
Jones will be joined at the event by fellow YES! youth staff members Savannah Henderson, Emma Harper, Tyler Long and Hanna Maxey. As part of the Kick Butts Day celebration, the Buncombe County students will educate community members about the benefits of being smoke-free and provide free resources to help them quit smoking. The event will take place on Wednesday, March 21 from 4 – 6 p.m. at the Asheville YMCA located at 30 Woodfin St.
The Asheville Y is offering a free community pass for the event and is waiving the joining fee for the day. Special guests include Rowan Lischerelli, who will teach two exercise classes on body awareness, and two former smokers who will be available for a Q-and-A on how they successfully kicked the habit. YES! provides trainings to NC youth across the state to help them make healthy choices.
According to The Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, killing more than 400,000 people every year. Every day, more than 4,000 youth try their first cigarettes; another 1,000 become addicted smokers, one-third of whom will die prematurely as a result.
“Kids are a powerful part of the solution to reducing youth tobacco use,” said Matthew L. Myers, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, which coordinates Kick Butts Day. “For Kick Butts Day 2012, kids are sending two important messages: They want the tobacco industry to stop targeting them with advertising and they want elected leaders at all levels to do more to protect them from tobacco.”
For information on the national initiative, visit the Kick Butts Day website at www.kickbuttsday.org.
About Youth Empowered Solutions (YES!):
Youth Empowered Solutions (YES!) is a statewide non-profit that empowers youth, in partnership with adults, to create community change. The specific programs that YES! implements to empower youth in their local and state advocacy efforts are aligned with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Division of Adolescent and School Health’s prioritization of critical adolescent health behaviors. These are: alcohol and drug use, injury and violence (including suicide), tobacco use, nutrition, physical activity, and sexual risk behaviors/reproductive health. For more information, visit www.youthempoweredsolutions.org.