PikeView students to kick butts - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

PikeView students to kick butts

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GARDNER (PRESS RELEASE) - Let's kick butts!  …cigarette butts, that is!  Kick Butts Day, held annually since 1995, is a day of activism that empowers youth to STAND OUT, SPEAK UP, and SEIZE CONTROL against Big Tobacco at more than 1,000 events across the United States and around the globe.  Students at PikeView High School – particularly the RAZE Crew and SADD Chapter – are hosting their event at the Mercer County Courthouse on Wednesday, March 20, 1:00 – 2:00PM.  A press event will begin at approximately 1:30PM, and the community is encouraged to attend.

The students will be conducting various ‘commotions' as they seek to educate the public on the harmful effects of tobacco.  Over 40 students will be in attendance.

Tobacco use continues to take its toll on West Virginia youth.  19.1% of high school students smoke, compared to 18.1% nationally.  In the Mountain State, 2,600 kids (under 18) become daily smokers each year, and 4.5 million packs of cigarettes are bought or smoked by kids each year.  If statistical trends hold true, over 46,000 youth in West Virginia will ultimately die prematurely from smoking.

Annually in West Virginia, $690 million in health care costs can be associated to detriments of smoking.  In addition, smoking causes significant productivity loss in West Virginia – equated to $1.01 billion.

PikeView High School has partnered with the Southern Coalfields Tobacco Prevention Network and the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids.  Travis Helmondollar, director of the Network, noted the importance of such events.  "While destructive behaviors among youth continue to be of grave concern, it's equally important to realize that there are youth – like those at PikeView High School – who are taking a stand against such behaviors. The community should take notice!  These youth are doing great things, positively impacting the lives of their peers."

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