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Body Bags Show Smoking Death Toll

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

Youth were seen all over Salt Lake City today with body bags representing the one in three smokers who will die from their deadly addiction. Members of the Utah Phoenix Alliance staged a rally at the Salt Lake City Public Library, complete with a giant awareness ribbon made of body bags, in honor of Kick Butts Day. Project: 1200 also participated in today’s events.

“Teens are the target of so many tobacco marketing efforts, like flavoring products to taste like candy,” said Yvonne Clark, Utah Phoenix Alliance president. “The rally is one more way to show Utah teens won’t be manipulated and wind up a tobacco victim. We see through their deadly smoke.”

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Kick Butts Day is an annual event to educate teens about the dangers of tobacco. Started by the Campaign For Tobacco-Free Kids, Kick Butts Day encourages youth to stand out, speak up, and seize control against Big Tobacco.

Nationally, every day more than 1,500 people under the age of 18 become regular smokers. About one-third of them will eventually die from a tobacco-related disease.

More than 230,000 Utahns continue to use tobacco and more than 1,100 die annually as a result of their own smoking.