PHOENIX--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Arizona teens will mark World No Tobacco Day as a collective force in the global and local fight to end tobacco use. As members of the statewide anti-tobacco youth coalition STAND (Students Taking a New Direction), they work aggressively to expose the dangers of tobacco use in their communities. Their goal is to bring attention to the negative health effects that tobacco causes worldwide. Globally, staggering statistics point to 5.4 million deaths attributed to tobacco related causes.
The 28-chapter strong STAND coalition will be visible at a variety of events to mark this important day of awareness led internationally by the World Health Organization (WHO). World No Tobacco Day is a global call-to-action against the tobacco industry and this year they remind the public that raising taxes on tobacco is both the most effective and cost-effective way of reducing tobacco use around the world. Taxes were also sighted in the 2014 Surgeon General Report as a specific action to increasing tobacco control, the excerpt reads: “Raising the average excise cigarette taxes to prevent youth from starting smoking and encouraging smokers to quit.”
Many STAND coalitions will maximize World No Tobacco Day to build partnerships with other groups in their community. Since the beginning, STAND members have been working with local and tribal governments to pass smoke free ordinances at local parks and expand smoke free boundaries. Because of their primary focus on helping curb tobacco use, they are using World No Tobacco Day to be present alongside other civic-minded groups.
STAND members throughout Arizona will be partnering with local groups in their community that have a similar focus on civic improvements. While their mission may differ from tobacco control, the end result is the same: to improve the quality of life in their community.
Commenting on this important effort, STAND member Janea Crum said, “We want to use this day to partner with other groups who may be working on different issues. It’s our way of recognizing that positive societal change takes collaboration, which is why we want to support others in their efforts as they have supported us in ours.”
According to the WHO, tobacco kills nearly six million people worldwide each year, of which more than 600,000 are non-smokers dying from breathing second-hand smoke. In the United States alone, more than 500,000 people die from tobacco use annually, which is more than 1,400 each day, and 50,000 die from the effects of second-hand smoke.
Arizona Tobacco Stats at a Glance:
- 14.1 percent of Arizona high school students smoke1
- 6,000 Arizona kids under 18 become new daily smokers each year2
- 227,000 Arizona kids are exposed to second-hand smoke at home
- 10.4 percent of male high school students use smokeless or spit tobacco
- 17 percent of adults smoke3
(Sources: U.S. Centers for Disease Control, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids)
1 CDC, YRBS Data, 2013
2 U.S. Centers for Disease Control, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
3 CDC, BRFSS Survey Data, 2012