National Take Down Tobacco Day at the Capitol encourages youth to speak out against tobacco companies

3 March 2024

By Shayndel Jones, 13WIBW

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – National Take Down Tobacco Day at the Capitol encourages youth to speak out against commercial tobacco companies.

Kansas Department of Health and Environment officials said this week, members of the Resist program and the Tobacco Free Kansas Coalition hosted the event. Take Down Tobacco Day is a national day of activism where youth are encouraged to speak out against commercial tobacco companies and speak with policymakers 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,” said Bryce Chitanavong, Youth Tobacco Prevention Coordinator at KDHE. “Our message is clear. We won’t let tobacco companies play games with our health and our future.”

KDHE officials said for most people, tobacco use starts when they are young. Nearly nine out of 10 adult daily smokers first try smoking by the age of 18. Young people are even more vulnerable to nicotine addiction as their brains are still developing. Commercial tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease, disability and death in the United States. Use of tobacco products in any form is unsafe, regardless of whether it is smoked or not.

According to KDHE, previously known as Kick Butts Day, Take Down Tobacco Day provides an opportunity to educate students about the importance of youth when it comes to tobacco use prevention. The American Heart Association provided training on the evening of February 27 to prepare students to speak with their policymakers. Each group that registered got a chance to meet with their local representative to discuss tobacco prevention with them.

KDHE said Resist is a youth-led program that focuses on peer-to-peer education, awareness and policies that prevent tobacco and electronic cigarette/vaping use. Resist chapters are locally established and hold awareness events in their communities to promote tobacco-free environments. Resist is made possible with the support of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Tobacco Free Kansas Coalition.

KDHE officials noted resources are available for people who want to quit smoking or vaping. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669) or click HERE.

KDHE officials shared information on starting a Resist chapter at your school.

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