Letter to the Editor

Take down tobacco on 'Kick Butts Day'

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

McCOOK, Neb. — Southwest Nebraska Public Health Department is joining Tobacco-Free Nebraska to encourage kids to Take Down Tobacco on Kick Butts Day, March 31, 2023. This event, sponsored by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, empowers people to stand up and speak out against the tobacco industry. The Take Down Tobacco program is a 365-day-a-year effort that culminates every spring with the Take Down Tobacco National Day of Action on Kick Butts Day.

Over the past quarter century, the U.S. has made remarkable progress in doing just what the Kick Butts Day name describes: kicking butts. However, flavored vapes have fueled the youth e-cigarette epidemic, which is reversing decades of progress to reduce tobacco use in the US. The tobacco industry has a long history of targeting youth with flavored products like flavored e-cigarettes, menthol-flavored tobacco and flavored cigars.

“Our health district has a high cancer rate as well as the highest rate of smokeless tobacco users in the state,” explains Diana Garcia, Program Manager at SWNPHD. “Tobacco is still the number one cause of preventable cancer in the US. Avoiding tobacco will lower the cancer rates and protect our youth from the dangers of tobacco.”

On March 31, 2023, the Take Down Tobacco National Day of Action, SWNPHD encourages youth activists, educators, parents, health advocates and concerned citizens to come together and share their commitment to:

• Raise awareness of the problem of tobacco use in their community.

• Encourage youth to reject the tobacco industry’s deceptive marketing and stay tobacco-free.

• Urge elected officials to take action to protect kids from tobacco.

SWNPHD and Tobacco Free Nebraska are working to help people quit tobacco, eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke, and protect youth by keeping them from using tobacco. Learn more and get involved at https://dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/Tobacco-Free-Nebraska.aspx. For help quitting, the Nebraska Tobacco Quitline is available at Quitnow.ne.gov, 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669), and in Spanish at 1-855-DÉJELO-YA (1-855-335-3569).

Southwest Nebraska Public Health Department serves Chase, Dundy, Frontier, Furnas, Hayes, Hitchcock, Keith, Perkins, and Red Willow counties. You can follow us on Facebook and Instagram or view the website at www.swhealth.ne.gov which contains many resources and additional information helpful to prevent disease, and promote and protect health. Call (308) 345-4223; one number three locations, McCook, Imperial, and Ogallala.

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