Kick Butts Day is a national day of activism that empowers youth to stand out, speak up, and seize control against tobacco. This year, national Kick Butts Day was March 19, which Anderson County students celebrated the week of March 24 due to Spring Break.
Through partnerships between Anderson County Coordinated School Health, Clinton City Coordinated School Health, Oak Ridge Coordinated School Health, the Anderson County Health Department, and Allies for Substance Abuse Prevention (ASAP) of Anderson County, this Kick Butts Day was an amazing success, a press release said.
“We were very excited to partner with other school systems and organizations for Kick Butts Day,” said Kim Guinn, ACS coordinated school health director. “By working together, we were able to make a larger impact on our community. We all want to accomplish the same goal and see our students choose not to use tobacco.”
At elementary schools across the county, fourth- and fifth-graders wrote essays discussing why they choose not to use tobacco. Anderson County and Clinton High School cheerleaders made “#ChooseNotToUse, Why do you choose not to use tobacco?” banners, which were hung in the middle and high schools in Anderson County schools. The cheerleaders at Jefferson Middle School made banners that were hung in the elementary and middle schools in Oak Ridge.
Students were given the opportunity to sign the banners and share why they choose not to use tobacco. Students were also encouraged to sign and make a commitment to quit using tobacco products. Hundreds of students across the county signed the banners with their motivation ranging from sports, having healthy futures, and the cost. These were just a few of the many reasons why student choose not to use tobacco products, the press release said.
“It has been amazing to see such inspired youth making a real impact on their community,” said Stacey Pratt, ASAP project coordinator.
Parents also had a chance to get involved in Kick Butts Day. For parents, Kick Butts Day doesn’t end; rather, it can be an ongoing event. Parents can kick the habit any time. For more information on kicking the habit, call the Tennessee Tobacco Quit Line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW.
As a parent, you have a big influence on the decisions your child makes. Did you know that 84 percent of Anderson County students choose not to use tobacco? Do you know if your student is one? In a 2009 study, it was reported that teens whose parents often talked to them about the dangers of smoking were half as likely to smoke as those who did not have these conversations with their parents. Parents can find tips at www.ASAPofAnderson.org on how they can support their child in staying or becoming tobacco free. If you talk, they will listen, the press release said.