Kansans take part in Kick Butts Day

Published On: Mar 19 2014 08:00:51 AM CDT
smoking cigarette with ash

Zsuzsanna Kilian/SXC

Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, accounting for more than 480,000 deaths, or nearly one of every five deaths, in the United States each year.


Kids in Kansas will be joining thousands of other young people across the nation for the 19th annual "Kick Butts Day" on Wednesday.

The effort is a celebration of youth leadership and activism in the fight against tobacco. They will push for tobacco companies to change the way they market their products, in hopes that they'll no longer target younger demographics. Some of the ways these advocates believe tobacco companies target kids are through certain magazine ads, discounted items and fruit and candy flavored small cigars that look similar to cigarettes.

Nationwide, tobacco companies spend about $8.8 billion in marketing, and about $70.7 million of that is spent on tobacco marketing in Kansas alone.

This year, Kick Butts Day comes as new information is confirms that urgent action is needed. A Surgeon General's report found without urgent action to reduce smoking, 5.6 million U.S. children alive today will die prematurely from smoking-related causes, that includes 61,000 children in Kansas alone.