Today marks the 20th anniversary of National Kick Butts Day. This nationwide initiative encourages youth, teachers and health advocates around the United States to stand up and speak out against Big Tobacco.
Three Ways the Gift of Life is Taking On Big Tobacco
1. We’re putting tobacco in its place. The Gift of Life’s Tobacco Control Coalition of Southeast Texas is locking up tobacco. Through an interactive POD, we’re sharing impactful educational materials about the health hazards of tobacco and encouraging the community to make a symbolic commitment to “lock up” tobacco through multi-colored locks displayed on the POD’s exterior. This traveling anti-tobacco exhibit will make stops at Parkdale Mall (March 13 – 19), Central Mall (March 20 – 23) and the Lumberton Shopping Center (March 27 – 29).
2. We’re crushing the competition. The tobacco industry generates $1.2 billion per year of sales revenue from children under the age of 18. Is it any wonder why they target our youth with deceptive ad campaigns? The Gift of Life refuses to allow this industry to craftily compete for the attention of our children. Through the program’s Not a Replacement Campaign, we are empowering youth to stand up and declare their unique traits and talents – qualities they refuse to surrender to tobacco. Teens are encouraged to post selfies of themselves doing what they love with the #NotAReplacement hashtag. Through peer-to-peer and social media interactions, teens are teaching teens to say no to tobacco.
3.We’re rallying the troops. On March 12, the Gift of Life unveiled its new Tobacco Control Coalition of Southeast Texas at a press conference featuring ACRODUNK, a gravity-defying slam dunk performance squad. The momentum of this press conference continued as local youth organized and implemented high school pep rallies for the cause. West Brook High School Senior Maret Montanari planned a pep rally in honor of National Kick Butt’s Day (March 18), raising $900 for the Gift of Life’s anti-tobacco initiatives. These funds will ultimately help the Gift of Life continue battling tobacco’s treacherous grip on our community.