by Gina DeMent, Public Information Officer
Five County Mental Health Authority
Kick Butts Day, sponsored every year by the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, is a national campaign to help kids stand up and speak out against tobacco.
This year Kick Butts Day takes place on Wednesday, March 25th.
Thousands of schools take part each year in activities related to preventing youth smoking or using other tobacco products.
Young people who smoke are at great risk for developing many health related problems, but the good news is that fewer and fewer young people in the country and in North Carolina are choosing to smoke.
Help young people protect their own health and advocate for a tobacco free environment.
The reality is that most teenagers don’t smoke. Just because you see a group of young people smoking doesn’t mean that a lot of young people in your school are smoking. Some young people think that smoking is cool because they are influenced by advertisements or people they see on TV or movies smoking, but most of those people do not even really smoke, they are just playing a part. Ask most young people if they like being around someone who smokes, and they will tell you no, it stinks, makes your clothes and hair smell bad and your breathe stink. Who wants to kiss an ashtray, right? Some people think that smoking makes you look older and that is true, if you look at the face of someone who has been smoking for along time they look a lot older than non- smokers their age.
Most young people begin to smoke at around the ages of thirteen to fourteen. As tobacco is a very addictive drug, it is often difficult to quit. Think for yourself and reject the pressure to smoke. If you are a young person that would like to quit smoking, call Anne Williams at 252.430.3077 for information on local smoking cessation programs or call Quitline NC at 1.800.QUIT.NOW (1.800.784.8669). You can also go on-line at QuitlineNC.com to find out more information about quitting and how to get one on one support.
Here are some tips for quitting. First set a quit date. Tell your friends and family that you are quitting. Find other things to do when you feel the urge to smoke, and find other ways to relieve stress, such as exercise. Try to have things with you that you can use instead of a cigarette, such as gum, candy, or mints. Smoking is addictive and quitting may not be easy, but if you do quit, the benefits will be many. Become a part of the majority and choose not to be smoke free.