A coalition of organizations is rallying Wednesday to urge lawmakers and citizens to take a stronger stance against smoking in the Commonwealth. “Kick Butts Day” is focusing on preventing young people from taking up the habit. Evidence of the 17th annual “Kick Butts Days” is on display at the YMCA of Central Kentucky in Beaumont Circle Wednesday, as the lobby is filled with pamphlets, displays, and organizers such as Betsy Janes with the American Lung Association.
"We've had a very receptive, friendly audience today," she says.
More than a thousand similar events are taking place across the country, but Janes says advocates in Kentucky have their work cut out for them.
"We have a culture of growing tobacco, so the odds are stacked against us in Kentucky when it comes to tobacco control, but the smoke-free campaign is one area where we can make a lot of progress," Janes says.
A new report by the US Surgeon General found that while the national smoking rate among high school students has been nearly cut in half since the mid-1990’s, more than 3.6 million middle and high school students smoke. The campaign in Lexington will last until 7 PM tonight.