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Help your students take action.

Get involved

The student activities inside are four effective ways for your students to take action and get noticed on Kick Butts Day.

* Spread the Word: An opportunity for students to give a presentation about the negative impact of smoking

* Tribute Day: A day when students remember those who have been harmed by a tobacco-related illness

* Stick It to 'Em: A protest against tobacco advertising in students' favorite magazines

* Breathe-Easy Guide: A student-created guide to smoke-free restaurants, movie theaters, bowling alleys, and skating rinks in your community

Here are a few additional actions students can take to get involved in the Kick Butts Day movement:

Action 1: Have students write letters to elected officials that express their feelings about being targets of Big Tobacco's advertising. Students could suggest passing local ordinances banning tobacco vending machines from public areas or ask them if they have ever accepted campaign funds from a tobacco company.

Action 2: Bring in the Letters to the Editor section of your local newspaper and discuss its function as a forum for community debate. Encourage students to write letters to the editor about their personal experiences with tobacco.

Action 3: Have students collect cigarette ads from magazines and discuss whom the ads target and why.

Action 4: Encourage students to note in a log when characters smoke in movies or TV shows. Have them research the addresses of the television stations on which the TV shows air. Have students write messages on postcards that state their objections to images of smoking in the media.

Action 5: Have students design anti-smoking posters and write slogans. Hold a contest to choose the most effective one. Send copies of the winning poster to the local media with a letter explaining the students' anti-smoking campaign.

Get the Facts Straight

Talk with your students about the following facts from the U.S. Surgeon General's Report. As you work through this program, recommend that students use these facts to support their actions.

FACT: Cigarette advertisements are designed to make people think that smoking is cool and that everybody does it. These misleading ads appear to increase kids' risk of smoking. (3)

FACT: Kids who start smoking are more likely to get lower grades in school. They tend to hang out with other kids who smoke. They may have a low self-image and may not know how to say "no" to tobacco. (3)

FACT: Most smokers start using tobacco before they finish high school. This means that if you stay smoke-free in school, you will probably never smoke. (3)

FACT: Here's some good news: States such as California, Florida, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, and Oregon have reduced youth smoking rates with comprehensive tobacco prevention programs. (2) A study has concluded that cigarette sales would have declined by twice as much if all states had fully funded tobacco prevention programs between 1994 and 2000. (4)
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Title Annotation:Kick Butts Day
Publication:Junior Scholastic
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 21, 2005
Previous Article:Tobacco-free teaching guide: exciting language arts, social studies, and life skills activities for grades K-12.
Next Article:Dear parent or guardian.

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