BreakDown launches month long initiative on Kick Butts Day, March 21

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

20 March, 2018

LAS VEGAS – In an effort to encourage colleges and universities to adopt smoke-free policies, the tobacco prevention youth group, BreakDown, will launch its month long initiative called “The Next Step” on Wednesday, March 21, to commemorate the annual Kick Butts Day observance. The Next Step is an effort to mobilize students at 10 local high schools to support smoke-free college and university campuses nationwide. BreakDown’s initiative originated from its members’ “next step” in their lives and their preferences to attend smoke-free higher education institutions. Kick Butts Day is an annual Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids observance to end tobacco use by children, teens, and young adults. For information about BreakDown or “The Next Step” effort, contact the Southern Nevada Health District’s Office of Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (OCDPHP) at (702) 759-1270.

There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke, indoors or outdoors. There are 2,106 colleges and universities in the United States that are smoke-free. In Southern Nevada there are few colleges or universities that have a 100 percent tobacco-free campus.

In Nevada 7.5 percent of high school students smoke cigarettes and 25.6 percent use e-cigarettes. It is estimated that each day across the country, about 2,300 children under the age of 18 will try their first cigarette and more than 350 of them will become new, regular smokers. Each year, approximately 1,000 Nevadans under age 18 become daily smokers. About 80 percent of adult smokers became regular smokers before the age of 18. It is estimated that 4,100 Nevadans die each year due to smoking-related illnesses. This figure is higher than the number of people who die from AIDS, motor vehicle accidents, substance abuse, homicides, and suicides. For additional information about tobacco’s toll in Nevada, visit the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids’ Toll of Tobacco in Nevada page.

The Southern Nevada 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, and community outreach programs. By using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) 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. 

State residents can contact the Nevada Tobacco Quitline 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1800-784-8669) from a Nevada area code to access a free, phone-based service for anyone age 13 or older. Callers will speak with a ‘coach’ who can offer quitting assistance in any language. The Quitline is available Monday – Sunday, 4 a.m. – 10 p.m. (PST).  Smokers can also visit the Get Healthy Clark County website’s Quit Smoking page for tips and resources to help.

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Access information about the Southern Nevada Health District on its website: www.SNHD.info. Follow the Health District on Facebook: www.facebook.com/SouthernNevadaHealthDistrict, YouTube: www.youtube.com/SNHealthDistrict, Twitter: www.twitter.com/SNHDinfo, and Instagram: www.instagram.com/southernnevadahealthdistrict/. The Health District is available in Spanish on Twitter: www.twitter.com/TuSNHD.  Additional information and data can be accessed through the Healthy Southern Nevada website: www.HealthySouthernNevada.org.