Kick Butts Day, March 20
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 19, 2013
LAS VEGAS – If it’s March 20 . . it’s Kick Butts Day. Members of Evolvement, a smoke-free youth group, will participate in Kick Butts Day, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., Wednesday, March 20. A display of 100 Rebel mustaches will be placed in the grass of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas free speech area, with 82 of those representing the percentage of non-smokers on campus. Youth members will collect message cards in support of a smokefree college campus. Kick Butts Day is a nationwide initiative, sponsored by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids to stop tobacco use by children and young adults. For information or directions to the event, contact Malcolm Ahlo, (702) 460-2946.
There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke, indoors or outdoors. There are 1,129 colleges and universities in the United States that are smokefree. UNLV is not a 100 percent smokefree campus. A recent survey showed that 66 percent of UNLV students believe the university has a responsibility to enact a smokefree policy that protects students, staff, and visitors from secondhand smoke. This would also prevent litter on the campus and help decrease smoking rates at the university.
In 2000, smoking prevalence among young adults (18-24) was 46.3 percent. By 2010, smoking prevalence of this same group declined to 25.4 percent, a decrease of 45.1 percent. However, the rate is still higher than the national estimate of 20.1 percent for this age group.
It is estimated that each day across the nation, about 3,500 children under the age of 18 will try their first cigarette while another 1,000 children who have already tried their first cigarette will now become regular smokers. Each year, approximately 2,700 Nevadans under age 18 become daily smokers. About 80 percent of adult smokers became regular smokers before the age of 18. Healthcare costs are about $565 million for smoking-related illnesses and 3,300 Nevadans die from smoking-related illnesses each year.
The health district’s Tobacco Control Program combats youth tobacco use by developing programs that go beyond traditional methods, such as extensive social marketing programs, teen-focused counter-advertising activities, community outreach programs that reach into minority communities, and campaigns developed for alternative lifestyles. By using CDC’s Best Practices models, the Tobacco Control Program has developed activities and policy efforts that have contributed to a significant decrease in youth and adult smoking rates, expanded programs directed toward diverse communities, and increased knowledge of the dangers of secondhand smoke.
Smokers can contact the Nevada Tobacco Users’ Helpline at 1-800-QUIT NOW for free assistance to help them quit smoking. They can speak with a professional, licensed counselor for confidential assistance. Smokers can also visit the health district’s Get Healthy Clark County website, www.GetHealthyClarkCounty.org find tips to help them quit smoking and additional resources.
The Southern Nevada Health District serves as the local public health authority for Clark County, Boulder City, Henderson, Las Vegas, Mesquite and North Las Vegas. The agency safeguards the public health of the community’s residents and visitors through innovative programs, regulations, and initiatives focused on protecting and promoting their health and well-being. More information about the Health District, its programs, services, and the regulatory oversight it provides is available at www.SNHD.info.