People all across Indiana are encouraged to stop smoking on Wednesday, March 24, and join National Kick Butts Day 2010. This national day, established by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and supported by the American Heart Association, encourages people, especially youth, to go tobacco-free. This initiative also coincides with Indiana’s efforts to advance smokefree workplaces and ensure that all Indiana worksites, including bars and restaurants, become smokefree.
It is estimated that almost 90 percent of adults who have ever been regular smokers began smoking by the time they were 18. According to the 2006 Indiana Youth Tobacco Survey, more than 80% of middle and high school students who live with smokers reported being exposed to secondhand smoke in a room on at least one day in the past week.
The American Heart Association advocates against smoke because it is the most important preventable cause of premature death in the United States. It accounts for more than 440,000 of the more than 2.4 million annual deaths. Cigarette smokers have a higher risk of developing several chronic disorders. These include fatty buildups in arteries, several types of cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (lung problems). Atherosclerosis (buildup of fatty substances in the arteries) is a chief contributor to the high number of deaths from smoking. Many studies detail the evidence that cigarette smoking is a major cause of coronary heart disease, which leads to heart attack.
For more information on National Kick Butts Day, log onto kickbuttsday.org or worksmokefree.com
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National Center for Tobacco-Free Kids
The National Center for Tobacco-Free Kids, also known as the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, is an independent, nonpartisan, inclusive organization that works to prevent tobacco use by children and youth. It's based in Washington, D.C., and is part of a broad movement to reduce the influence of the tobacco industry and to eradicate tobacco-caused disease. The Web address is www.tobaccofreekids.org
The center works in partnership with the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, and 100 other health, civic, corporate, youth and religious organizations.