News Releases

Pledge to Be Tobacco-Free at Health Department’s Kick Butts Day

Mar 19, 2018

The Department of Public Health is asking Cumberland County youth to pledge to stay tobacco-free as part of Kick Butts Day, March 21.

Kick Butts Day, sponsored by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, is a day of activism that empowers youth to stand out, speak up and seize control against tobacco use with the hope of creating the first tobacco-free generation.

The Health Department’s Health Education team provided youth at Southview High School, William T. Brown Elementary school, the Boys and Girls Club and YMCA the chance to sign the “#BeTheFirst” pledge wall and receive awareness materials earlier this month.

The pledge wall will be on display at the Health Department, 1235 Ramsey St., on March 21 from 8-11a.m. Anyone at the Health Department at that time can also receive tobacco cessation and prevention resources and play the “What’s in a Cigarette?” game to learn about the ingredients in a cigarette and receive an incentive for playing.

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and thousands of young people start smoking cigarettes every day. Each day, more than 3,200 people younger than 18 years of age smoke their first cigarette and an estimated 2,100 youth and young adults, who have been occasional smokers, become daily cigarette smokers.

According to a recent “County Health Rankings” report, 18 percent of Cumberland County adults smoke every day, or most days, and have smoked at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime.

“If we can help prevent our youth from smoking, through initiatives like the Kick Butts event and other outreach activities, then we can lower the percentage of adults in our county who smoke, creating a healthier and overall better community,” said Duane Holder, Interim Health Director.

Additionally, new and emerging tobacco products are capturing the attention of youth and young adults. The use of e-cigarettes by North Carolina high school students increased 888 percent from 2011 to 2015, and similar patterns are seen nationally and in other states.