Today, March 21, is Kick Butts Day, an annual celebration to encourage kids to stay tobacco-free.
It is important to remember that while fewer kids are smoking since the 1990s, over 3.6 million middle and high school students still smoke.
Find a Kick Butts Day event in your area to help your kids "speak out, stand up and seize control against Big Tobacco at more than 1,000 events from coast to coast" and help stop what is still being called a "pediatric epidemic." Activities range from an anti-tobacco rally in San Antonio, Texas to an anti-tobacco pledge drive in Ogden, Utah.
"Kids are sending two powerful messages on Kick Butts Day: They want the tobacco companies to stop targeting them, and they want elected leaders to protect them from tobacco," said Matthew L. Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. "We know how to win the fight against tobacco. Elected officials across the nation should support these proven solutions, including higher tobacco taxes, strong smoke-free laws and well-funded tobacco prevention programs."
You can also learn more about the real cost of smoking on Kick Butts Day. CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden will host a live Twitter chat today at 1:00 PM EDT to discuss the launch of the "Tips from Former Smokers" national tobacco education campaign, as well as answer your questions about the newly released "Surgeon General's Report on Preventing Tobacco Use among Youth and Young Adults." Dr. Tim McAfee, Director of CDC's Office on Smoking and Health, will join the Twitter chat to discuss the health consequences of smoking and what can be done about it.