Mobilizing Youth: Organizing Kick Butts Day 2012


Mobilizing Youth: Organizing Kick Butts Day 2012

Daniella Matthews-Trigg

Program Associate




Last night, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids hosted a National Youth Webinar to start planning for Kick Butts Day 2012.

Kick Butts Day, their national day of activism, is coming up in just over two months and the preparations are in full swing!

They started out the call by talking about all of the great resources that they have available to youth and adult supervisors to help organize a Kick Butts Day event!

Campaign for Tobacco-Free kids is offering mini-grants for $500 and $1000 to help sponsor and fund Kick Butts Day events. They are looking for events with clear educational or accountability message or targeted to decision-makers or policy-makers. To sign up and apply for a grant, click here!

They also have “events in a box”, which include everything needed for a Kick Butts Day event! There are different themes, including “They put WHAT in a cigarette?!”, which emphasizes the chemicals in tobacco, and “Under the Radar”, which teaches about advertising that targets teens and young adults. For more info on activities, click here!

There are tons more resources on their website, such as:

–          customizable, downloadable posters

–          downloadable stickers with instructions

–          Kick Butts Day Activity and Media Guides

The representative from Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids also emphasized the importance of registering  Kick Butt Day Events on the site, so events can be documented, media can be planned, and goodies can be sent out.

And, the coolest part of the call was when youth representatives from SWAT (Students Working Against Tobacco)  in Florida spoke about their Kick Butt Day events from past years!

Some Examples of the events included:

– Tabling for Kick Butts Day at the County Fair, which was being held at the same time, and consequently reaching a larger number of people.

– Doing interviews on local radio stations

– Holding events that awareness about candy flavored tobacco products and their targeting of youth

– Hosting an art showcase and inviting community members, local policy makers and, because it was an election year,  political candidates.

All of the events were so creative! I was very impressed. And it got me thinking, with all of this outreach and involvement of youth around tobacco control, are LGBT youth getting involved too? A quick Google search of  “LGBT Youth Tobacco” got me tons of articles and information on the disparities in smoking between LGBT youth and  heterosexual youth, but not as many programs and organizations specifically targeting this. So we know this is a huge problem. Here is a crazy statistic from our website:

In a recent national study on adolescent health, 45% of females and 35% of males who reported same-sex attraction or behavior smoked; compared to only 29% for the rest of the youth.

In a study titled “Coming Out about Smoking: Tobacco Use in the LGBTQ Young Adult Community”, the National Youth Advocacy Coalition (NYAC) found that LGBT youth are likely to smoke due to “unique stressors such as discrimination and lack of family acceptance” and that many see smoking as an important social activity.  The report recommends that in order to reduce smoking rates, there should not only be outreach to youth smokers that focus on health risks, but also intervention programs designed by youth and for youth should be utilized. Hellooo! Campaign for Tobacco-Free kids is totally ahead of the curve.

So, attention all  LGBT youth organizations out there! How would you like to apply for a mini-grant and host an LGBT Kick Butts Day extravaganza that educates the community about the targeting not just of youth by the tobacco industry, but of LGBT youth?!  It would be amazing. And we at the Network would LOVE to help you out! So, take advantage of this amazing opportunity and all of these great resources and sign up with Kick Butts Day. And then let us know!!! Email us at or send us a message here!

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