By HDN Editorial Board
Kick Butts Day, an event sponsored by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids takes place Wednesday, April 4.
Kick Butts Day was organized by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids in response to tobacco industry efforts to recruit under-age smokers. The event is youth oriented and for the most part youth led, and was created to empower youth to stand up and send an anti-tobacco message to the industry.
Youth smoking statistics continue to be staggering, even as more and more evidence comes to light concerning the health risks of tobacco use. Over one billion packs of cigarettes are consumed by America's youth every year. In Montana alone, over 3200 children begin smoking every year.
While Kick Butts Day is April 4, the Havre H.E.L.P. Committee, in conjunction with Havre Public Schools, has generated enough local interest in it's anti-tobacco campaign to promote several Kick Butts activities over a nearly two week time span. Members of the H.E.L.P. Youth Coalition joined youth from across Montana in Helena for an anti-tobacco rally in Constitution Park last week; and have returned for several assemblies and activities scheduled in Havre through Friday.
We at the Havre Daily News applaud the local Youth Coalition, as well as the H.E.L.P. Committee and the many local sponsors of the Kick Butts Day events. We feel that it is important that youth are made aware of the effects that smoking can have on a person's health, so that they may make responsible and informed decisions about tobacco use.
About 25 percent of cigarettes consumed by Montana's youth are being purchased directly by minors. We encourage local businesses to support the efforts of the H.E.L.P. Committee by enforcing the legal tobacco purchasing age of 18 and by checking for proper identification before making a tobacco sale. We believe that Kick Butts Day sends an important message to today's youth and prepares them to live healthy and positive lifestyles.