Keiki in Hawaii join thousands of youngsters nationwide to mark Kick Butts Day. More than 1,000 events are planned across the U.S. sponsored by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, including a march to Hawaii's Sate Capitol.
Kick Butts Day is focused on progress made in reducing youth smoking, plus action needed to create the first tobacco-free generation across the country.
The smoking rate among high school students has dropped 71% since 2000, but the facts don't lie:
Tobacco kills 480,000 people each year, and is still the #1 cause of preventable death
$1 million is spent every hour marketing tobacco products, that often appeal to children
Children have started using electronic cigarettes as the most highly used tobacco product, 8% smoke, 11.3% use e-cigarettes
In Hawaii, 7.7% of high school students smoke, and 1,400 lives overall are lost each year.
In the wake of Kick Butts Day, health advocates and kids will urge lawmakers to increase tobacco taxes, increase the legal smoking age to 21 and ban flavored tobacco products.
"On Kick Butts Day, kids are celebrating the progress we've made to reduce tobacco use and building momentum to get us across the finish line," said Matthew L. Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.