Kids across the Gem State will join with those across the nation to unite against tobacco use on Wednesday March 21.  It's appropriately called Kick Butts Day. 

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids will help organize or inspire up to 1000 events across the United States in tn the annual day to call attention to the dangers of tobacco use and desire to see a future generation who is tobacco-free.

The group plans to focus attention on the progress made across the United States in reducing youth smoking, and focus on what would be needed to achieve a generation who passes on tobacco.

There has been some encouraging progress.  The smoking rate among high school students has dropped from 28 percent in 2000 to 8 percent in 2016.

Still, tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S., and costs $170 billion in health care expenses annually.  In Idaho, tobacco use takes 1800 lives and costs $508 million in health care expenses.  We are just above the national rate with a high school smoking population of 9.7 percent in the state.

If it feels like tobacco marketing is still significant (though there are many restrictions on how it can be marketing), it is.  Tobacco companies spend $8.9 billion a year which works out to $1 million every hour.

For more on this, see the information provided by PRNewswire.com.