LAS VEGAS — It's time to kick some butt(s)... Wednesday, March 16 is national Kick Butts Day, a nationwide initiative, sponsored by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids to stop tobacco use by children and young adults.
This year, the Southern Nevada Health District's tobacco control program will highlight the fact that while youth cigarette smoking rates are at an all-time low; 1 in 4 Clark County teenagers report using electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) according to the 2015 Nevada Youth Risk Behavior Survey. This year's Kick Butts Day event will focus on educating teens about the myths and dangers surrounding e-cigarettes, which have become increasingly popular among young people. The program's teen coalition, BreakDown, will be at Spring Valley High School on Kick Butts Day. During this outreach event, BreakDown will bring awareness to teens about e-cigarettes and other tobacco products with a combination of DJs, graffiti artist, photo booths, and giveaways designed to captivate the teen audience.
Many teens believe that e-cigarettes are safer than conventional cigarettes due to unrestricted marketing and lack of regulation of these products. E-cigarettes emit aerosol that contains chemicals that are classified as cancer causing toxins. E-cigarettes have not been proven to be effective in helping people quit smoking.
E-cigarette use continues to increase in Nevada and throughout the country. Currently, the youth conventional cigarette smoking prevalence in Clark County is at an all time low of 5.9 percent; however e-cigarette use among teens is 24.8 percent. This youth prevalence can be attributed to unregulated advertising, celebrity endorsements, and false claims about the products. These products are not safe and have the same or similar health risks as cigarette smoking, according to recent research.
The Health District's Tobacco Control Program combats youth tobacco use by developing programs that go beyond traditional methods, such as extensive social marketing programs, teen-focused counter-advertising activities, community outreach programs that reach into minority communities, and campaigns developed for alternative lifestyles. By using CDC's Best Practices models, the Tobacco Control Program has developed activities and policy efforts that have contributed to a significant decrease in youth and adult smoking rates, expanded programs directed toward diverse communities, and increased knowledge of the dangers of secondhand smoke.
Smokers (including youth ages 13 and up) can contact the Nevada Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT NOW for free assistance to help quit smoking. They can speak with a professional, licensed counselor for confidential assistance. Smokers can also visit the health district's Get Healthy Clark County website, www.GetHealthyClarkCounty.org find tips to help quit smoking and additional resources.