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Pilgrim High Students ‘Kick Butts’

[Message Partners PR] Pilgrim High School students gathered signatures pledging to #bethefirst generation to be tobacco free.
[Message Partners PR] Pilgrim High School students gathered signatures pledging to #bethefirst generation to be tobacco free.
[Message Partners PR] Pilgrim High School students gathered signatures pledging to #bethefirst generation to be tobacco free.
[Message Partners PR] Pilgrim High School students Cameron Costanza(standing), Alexis McCabe  and Ivy McCormick (seated l-r) gathered signatures from students pledging to #bethefirst generation to be tobacco free March 20.
[Message Partners PR] Pilgrim High School students Cameron Costanza(standing), Alexis McCabe and Ivy McCormick (seated l-r) gathered signatures from students pledging to #bethefirst generation to be tobacco free March 20.

WARWICK, RI —Pilgrim High students united against tobacco use March 20 along with young people nationwide to mark Kick Butts

Day, an annual day of activism sponsored by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

More than 1,000 events were planned across the United States. At Pilgrim High School, students made posters about deceptive marketing practices used by tobacco companies and made anti-smoking pledges.

This year, kids are focused on kicking Juul, the e-cigarette that has become enormously popular among youth across the country.

While cigarette smoking among high school students nationwide has fallen to 8.1 percent, e-cigarette use among high-school students rose by an alarming 78 percent in 2018 alone – to 20.8 percent of the student population. In 2018, more than 3.6 million middle and high school students used e-cigarettes. U.S. public health leaders have called youth e-cigarette use an “epidemic” that is addicting a new generation of kids.

In Rhode Island, 20.1 percent of high

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school students use e-cigarettes, while 6.1 percent smoke cigarettes. Tobacco use claims 1,800 lives in Rhode Island and costs the state $640 million in health care bills each year.

“This year on Kick Butts Day, we’re challenging policy makers at every level to do their part to reverse the youth e-cigarette epidemic and continue driving down youth tobacco use,” said Matthew L. Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. “We cannot allow e-cigarettes, especially Juul, to addict another generation and reverse the enormous progress we’ve made in reducing youth tobacco use.”

Key facts about e-cigarettes include:

  • The main cause of the youth e-cigarette trend is Juul, which looks like a computer flash drive, is small and easy to hide, delivers a powerful dose of nicotine, and comes in kid-friendly flavors like mango, fruit and mint. According to the manufacturer, each Juul “pod” (cartridge) delivers as much nicotine as a pack of 20 cigarettes.
  • E-cigarettes pose serious health risks for kids.The U.S. Surgeon Generalhas found that youth use of nicotine in any form – including e-cigarettes – is unsafe, causes addiction and can harm the developing adolescent brain, affecting learning, memory and attention. Studies also show that young people who use e-cigarettes are more likely to become cigarette smokers.