Students Taking on Prevention (STOP) recently took their message to raise awareness of tobacco and health to West Williams Avenue.
The STOP group held signs in front of CVS Pharmacy during what was described as a rally for “Kick Butts Day,” according to Churchill Community Coalition Youth Grant Facilitator Traci Lewis.
Students displayed signs visible to traffic, the objective being to encourage people to quit using tobacco.
“This is a national day of activism that empowers youth to stand out, speak up and seize control against big tobacco,” the event’s website kickbuttsday.org stated. “This is an organized event to raise awareness of the tobacco problem, encourage youth to stay tobacco-free and urge strong action to protect kids from tobacco.”
Marcos Ledezma, a Churchill County High School sophomore, was creatively dressed in a “Tarlboro” costume depicting the marketing campaign of popular cigarettes using a play on words to emphasize the tar content in cigarettes.
“I enjoyed it very much, and even though I thought it’d be embarrassing, it wasn’t,” Ledezma said about rallying against tobacco use. “I liked knowing I was letting people know there are some of us (teenagers) out there that are against tobacco use and do not use it. I’m hoping to let people know that it (using tobacco) is a bad decision and to help many people stop the use.”
Kickbuttsday.org reported nearly 1,300 events were held across the U.S. and on military bases around the world.