The DeKalb County Health Department supports the annual “Kick Butts Day” on March 19. This national campaign for “Tobacco Free Kids” empowers youth to speak up and take action against tobacco use.
The DeKalb High School Reality Group, a program focusing on prevention and advocacy and directed by health educators, will be engaged in picking up cigarette butts on March 18 and 21 to gain an understanding of tobacco use in public spaces. Throughout the week, they will sell candy grams to their classmates at DeKalb High School with proceeds benefiting the American Cancer Association. Students participating in Reality have also conducted surveys regarding smoke-free public spaces.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more than 3.6 million kids younger than 18 are smokers. The Center for Disease Control reports that 19 percent of adults smoke.
“We know that tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States,” said Jane Lux, public health administrator.
The Illinois Tobacco Quitline, provided by the Illinois Department of Public Health and the American Lung Association, offers free, convenient and confidential counseling throughout the quitting process. Nicotine replacement therapy is free to those who qualify. Respiratory therapists and registered nurses provide tips on dealing with withdrawal symptoms and information about cessation medications.
For more information on quitting, call the Illinois Tobacco Quitline at 1-866-QUIT-YES (1-866-784-8937) or visit health.dekalbcounty.org.