POTTSTOWN PA – Teens and youth groups in Pottstown and beyond say they’re taking their futures into their own hands Wednesday (March 21, 2012), as they join in the national observance of the 17th annual “Kick Butts Day.” It’s a protest against tobacco company marketing to children organized by an anti-smoking group, the Campaign For Tobacco-Free Kids.
- This event has been added to The Post calendar.
More than 1,100 youth-inspired activities to discourage and speak out against tobacco use are scheduled nationwide, according to campaign spokespersons. Of those, at least two are being held in greater Pottstown.
- At the Pottstown branch of the Freedom Valley YMCA, Adams and Jackson Streets, kids and adults alike are being invited to contribute to The Y’s “quilt of pledges” against tobacco. When completed, it will hang in the building lobby as both a testament to the creators’ internal strength and a reminder of their promise to help build a smoke-free future.
- At Owen J. Roberts Middle School, 881 Ridge Road, Pottstown, students are donating money to the American Cancer Society for a chance to sumo wrestle in one of four matches that will be held during an assembly that starts at 1:30 p.m. Organizer Victoria Morgan reported the day will conclude a full week of announcements, cafeteria displays and lesson plans about the dangers of tobacco use.
Regionally, other events are planned in West Chester, Souderton and Reading PA.
This year’s Kick Butts Day follows the issuance of a new report by the U.S. Surgeon General which, although it claims the nation has made progress in reducing youth smoking, says tobacco use among teens and even younger children constitutes a “pediatric epidemic.” More than 18 percent of Pennsylvania’s high school students smoke tobacco, according to statistics cited by the campaign.
- Watch a video, above, from the Surgeon General about the hazards of teen tobacco use, or see it at the YouTube channel of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Photo from the Surgeon General’s office