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DC Department of Health Encourages District Youth to Celebrate Kick Butts Day

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

DC Department of Health Encourages District Youth to Celebrate Kick Butts Day

District Teens Encourage Smoking Prevention Through Local Poetry Event

(Washington, D.C.) – In honor of National Kick Butts Day, the DC Department of Health (DOH) encourages District of Columbia teens to join the fight against tobacco use by participating in scheduled Kick Butts Day activities and programs. Organized by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CFTFK) and sponsored by the United States Health Foundation, Kick Butts Day is an annual celebration of youth leadership and activism in the fight against tobacco use.

Today, youth will encourage their peers to stay tobacco-free and educate their communities about the dangers of tobacco and the tobacco industry’s harmful marketing practices.  Representatives from DOH and from the DC Anti-Tobacco Youth Coalition, will also host a Poetry Slam this afternoon entitled Stop It, Drop It, Stomp It! at THEARC, 1901 Mississippi Avenue, SE, from  5:00 PM to 7:00 PM to encourage teenage smokers to quit or not to begin smoking.

“The smoking epidemic begins with youth,” said Dr. Saul Levin, Interim Director DC Department of Health. “Kick-Butts Day is a great opportunity for teens to get the resources they need to make one of the most important decisions of their young lives: to quit smoking or to learn why it’s important to never start,” he added.

One of DOH’s most effective anti-smoking resources is the city’s toll-free quitline service for District residents who make the decision to quit smoking for good. Residents interested in receiving additional information on the importance of not smoking or tips on how to quit can call 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

More than 438,000 Americans die each year from smoking related diseases, including more than 700 District residents. Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States. Tobacco-related deaths account for more deaths than HIV/AIDS, alcohol, cocaine, heroin, homicide, suicide, motor vehicle crashes, and fires combined.

For more information about the Poetry Slam, contact Kevon Harris at kevon.harris@dc.gov or Cheryl Eason at cheryl.eason@dc.gov .