Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the U.S., yet about 43.8 million Americans still smoke cigarettes - nearly 1 in every 5 adults. According to the Knox County Behavioral Risk Factor Survey, 21.5 percent of Knox County adults were smoking cigarettes in 2008. In addition, approximately 18.5 percent of Knox County Schools high school students reported they smoked cigarettes in the past 30 days, according to the 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Survey.
Kick Butts Day is a national day of activism that empowers youth to stand out, speak up and seize control against tobacco. Observed nationally on March 19, Kick Butts Day is designed to raise awareness about the problem of tobacco use and to encourage youth to stay tobacco free.
The Knox County Health Department is working with the Smoke-free Knoxville coalition, the University of Tennessee Greek system and the Youth Health Board to coordinate two local events:
Knox County Youth Health Board Tombstone Demonstration
Members of the Youth Health Board will hold a sobering public display to demonstrate the rate in which people die from tobacco-related illness in the U.S. Students, dressed in black, will lie down in front of a tombstone every 77 seconds. The demonstration will also feature tobacco-related statistics and a booth with information on quitting.
When: Saturday, March 22 from 1 to 3 p.m.
Where: Market Square
Smoke-free Knoxville and the University of Tennessee Greek System
Students in UT’s Greek system will participate in a cigarette butt cleanup competition at four area parks in March. Armed with gloves and trash bags, each organization will compete to win trophies and recognition.
When & Where:
- Friday, March 7 from 3 to 6:30 p.m. at Tyson Park
- Saturday, March 8 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Lakeshore Park
- Saturday, March 8 from 2 to 5:30 p.m. at Victor Ashe Park
- Sunday, March 9 from 1 to 4:30 p.m. at West Hills Park