Area Students Promote 'Kick Butts'
By N3 News Team
The recent upsurge in efforts to impact the use of tobacco in our county includes a recent Kick Butts campaign carried out by local students.
On Wednesday March 15th an event took place in the White Cloud High School cafeteria where the efforts of the Youth Advisory Council were on display. T-shirts with tobacco related slogans lined the room, part of an initiative aimed at ‘airing big tobacco companies dirty laundry’.
“The tobacco companies gear their advertising toward young people and we wanted to showcase the ways they try to influence students toward tobacco use,” said Destiny Nelson, president of the student group.
The efforts are part of a multi-agency push by ...
...the BreatheWell coalition folks who are responding to statistics showing a higher rateof tobacco use in Newaygo County.
“I love when teenagers get a voice in their health and the health of their community and are allowed to do it in their own unique way,” said Katie Jourdan, Health Educator with District Health Department #10.
“Kick Butts Day is specifically designed to allow teens to stand up and speak out against Big Tobacco's lies and deceptive marketing strategies..
“I was struck by the number of students we partnered with in Newaygo County that know someone close to them that smokes cigarettes, it was nearly every student. So they were extremely passionate in doing something to stand up against tobacco and its harmful effects on their family, friends, pets and community.”
Kick Butts efforts continued Monday, March 20 when students from the Career Tech Center brought their innovative initiatives to the Dogwood Center.
The morning Student Leadership Team (SLT) students held an informative meeting with a presentation that shared facts and statistics on tobacco and the impact on youth.
The afternoon SLT students organized a walking tour with students collecting cards at different stations. During the ensuing presentation each student was asked to stand for different colors that represented a fact or statistic on tobacco.
Both groups ended their event with students having an opportunity to write a message, memory, or their name on the Kick Butts Day graffiti wall created by the construction and graphics program.
Sally Wagoner, RN for Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial and Headway member helped both SLT groups with preparation of information and fact checking as well as answering student questions during both presentations.
“It’s incredible to see these students stand up to the tobacco industry,” said Rachel Uganski Project Coordinator for Drug-Free Communities and part of the BreatheWell coalition. “Tobacco companies target teens in hopes of gaining life-long customers, but teens in Newaygo County and across the US today are demonstrating that they are advocates for change.
“They are empowering their peers and their communities to live tobacco-free.”