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Texas Kids 'Kick Butts'

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Although far fewer young people smoke today than in years past, nearly 1,000 kids become smokers each day across the US. In Texas, 17.4% of high school students smoke. And when they buy cigarettes, the three most heavily advertised brands are most popular: Marlboro, Newport and Camel, according to the government's National Survey on Drug Use and Health. To raise awareness about the dangers of tobacco, kids in Texas are rallying, holding flash mobs and hosting health fairs. 

In North Texas, students are standing up to big tobacco.  Here's a few events taking place on National Kick Butts Day (March 20th) in the area:

  • University of North Texas students in Denton will conduct a “flash mob” to educate students about the number of tobacco-related deaths that occur every hour due to the effects of secondhand smoke. Time: 12:40 PM. 
    Location: University of North Texas’s Library Mall, 1155 Union Circle #305160, Denton. 
  • Permian Basin Regional Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse’s X-Out Youth Leadership Coalition in Odessa will feature a display of 66 pairs of shoes – to represent the number of people that die of tobacco-related illness each day in the state of Texas – at different junior highs throughout the week of March 18. On Kick Butts Day, the display will be featured at Ector Junior High School.
    Time: 11 AM.  
    Location: 809 West Clements Street, Odessa.

For a full list of events, check out the Kick Butts Day site

Lauren Silverman was the Health, Science & Technology reporter/blogger at KERA News. She was also the primary backup host for KERA’s Think and the statewide newsmagazine  Texas Standard. In 2016, Lauren was recognized as Texas Health Journalist of the Year by the Texas Medical Association. She was part of the Peabody Award-winning team that covered Ebola for NPR in 2014. She also hosted "Surviving Ebola," a special that won Best Long Documentary honors from the Public Radio News Directors Inc. (PRNDI). And she's won a number of regional awards, including an honorable mention for Edward R. Murrow award (for her project “The Broken Hip”), as well as the Texas Veterans Commission’s Excellence in Media Awards in the radio category.