Take Down Tobacco Day Empowers Youth Against Commercial Tobacco Influence

By Trish Svoboda

Members of the Resist program and the Tobacco Free Kansas Coalition organized Take Down Tobacco Day at the Capitol this week. The event is a National Day of Activism urging youth to raise their voices against commercial tobacco companies and engage policymakers in discussions about tobacco prevention.

“As we celebrate Take Down Tobacco Day this year, we join forces to show tobacco companies that we won’t fall for their tricks,” Bryce Chitanavong, Youth Tobacco Prevention Coordinator at KDHE, said. “Our message is clear. We won’t let tobacco companies play games with our health and our future.”

The majority of individuals initiate tobacco use during their youth, with almost nine out of 10 adult daily smokers having their first experience before turning 18. Adolescents are particularly susceptible to nicotine addiction due to ongoing brain development. Commercial tobacco use stands as the primary cause of preventable diseases, disabilities, and fatalities in the United States.

Formerly recognized as Kick Butts Day, Take Down Tobacco Day serves as a platform to educate students on the significance of youth in tobacco use prevention. On the evening of February 27, the American Heart Association offered training sessions to equip students with the skills needed to speak with policymakers. Every registered group had the opportunity to meet their local representatives and engage in discussions regarding tobacco prevention measures.

Resources are available for people who want to quit smoking or vaping. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669) or visit https://kansas.quitlogix.org/en-US/

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