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10 Year Anniversary

In 1988 California voters passed Proposition 99. This measure taxed an extra twenty-five cents to tobacco products sold. Thanks to this initiative teens now have access to tobacco prevention and cessation education.

In the last ten years, California has revolutionized public health education, countered pro-tobacco influences, reduced youth access to tobacco, and helped thousands of people quit smoking and de-normalized tobacco use.

Since the beginning of the Proposition 99 campaign, it was viewed as "the most ambitious and innovative campaign of its kind in the world." California has since changed the way people view the tobacco industry and tobacco use.

The success of Proposition 99 can be attributed to long-term education programs. These programs are based locally and statewide. Other states have also adopted similar programs based on California long-term education programs.

KICK BUTTS - Youth Advocacy Program is made possible by funds received from the Tobacco Tax Health Protection Act of 1988 - Proposition 99, under grant number 96-26626-01 with the California Department of Health Services, Tobacco Control Section. Since 1997, KICK BUTTS has:

  • Targeted community events that accept tobacco dollars to no longer do so;
  • Targeted events that were silent on the smoking issue to be promoted as "smoke-free;"
  • Helped teens counter pro-tobacco influences;
  • And worked with middle and high schools, and community-based organizations creating chapters.

KICK BUTTS has the vision to look toward the future for new and innovative ways for teens to contribute in the fight against big tobacco. The next generation has the very difficult job of continuing this battle. KICK BUTTS will be there every step of the way.

*(In 1990, 61 city and county health departments serving as Local Lead Agencies -LLA's- began to conduct tobacco education programs. Their goal was to mobilize communities throughout California to prevent youth and adult tobacco use, encourage existing smokers to quit and empower nonsmokers to demand "smoke-free" environments. LA Link is our regional lead agency)



In 1997 the American Lung Association of Los Angeles County received a grant that made KICK BUTTS possible. The grant funds were received from the Tobacco Tax Health Protection Act of 1988 - Proposition 99, under grant number 96-26626-01 with the California Department of Health Services, Tobacco Control Section.

With a clear goal of giving middle and high school students the tools necessary to become advocates in their communities and schools, and to counter pro-tobacco influences, the KICK BUTTS staff combined their efforts to start chapters throughout Los Angeles County.

KICK BUTTS currently has seven active chapters, and many more in the works. Teens that are KICK BUTTS members are trained using the KICK BUTTS curriculum.

With the realization that the best way to prevent teens from smoking is to give teens information on the dangers of tobacco, the KICK BUTTS curriculum teaches teens how the tobacco industry tries to lure young people into smoking. Once teens realize that the tobacco industry specifically targets them, they become more aware of the larger problem of tobacco. No one likes to be made a fool of, especially not teenagers!

KICK BUTTS works hard to pass on this information, not just to KICK BUTTS members, but other teens that might not have access to this information. KICK BUTTS uses it's ad campaign, in addition to its curriculum, to inform teens of the risk of smoking.

One of the components of the ad campaign is the "Vulture Billboard." The first KICK BUTTS billboard was displayed on Garey Ave. at the corner of Alvarado, in the city of Pomona. The billboard shows four teenagers smoking, with four vultures preying upon them. The vultures represent the tobacco industry giants. The KICK BUTTS billboard will rotate within five of the KICK BUTTS targeted cities.

In addition to this billboard, another component of the KICK BUTTS ad campaign is the theater slide advertisement. The slide advertisement was shown during the months of November and December in the Magic Johnson Theater in the Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw Plaza. The slide uses the same concept as the billboard: four teenagers smoking and four vultures preying upon them. The vultures are sitting on a brick wall, with "KICK BUTTS" graffitied on the wall. This scene seems all too familiar to the many teens that smoke. That wall represents the many walls where teens gather before and after school to smoke.

In addition, a point-of-purchase display is kept at the information booth of the theater that is showing the slide advertisement. This point-of-purchase display includes tear-offs that have the KICK BUTTS toll-free 800 number (1.800.806.LUNG), email and web-site addresses.

KICK BUTTS also publishes a newsletter. This newsletter contains KICK BUTTS chapter updates, contests, and anti-tobacco updates. The newsletter is published three times a year and is distributed to KICK BUTTS chapters, community-based organizations, and mailed to the KICK BUTTS mailing list.

You can also view the most recent newsletter on this web-site.

Being a KICK BUTTS member gives teens an opportunity to participate in activities with other members. One of the advantages, other than learning about tobacco is to participate in contests.

The first contest that KICK BUTTS provided to its' members was a writing contest, "What would you do with all the money you saved by not smoking?" Contest winners received Tower Records Gift Certificates and KICK BUTTS gear.

KICK BUTTS members' pride themselves in their commitment in the fight against tobacco. Having a KICK BUTTS chapter gives teens the opportunity to fight tobacco companies by speaking out -- writing letters to legislatures, magazine editors, meeting with event organizers -- and working with other teens in the fight against big tobacco.


Between 1993 and 1996, youth smoking increased by 23% in California.

YOU can make a difference!
Join KICK BUTTS today!

*Click here to receive additional membership information.

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? 1999 American Lung Association of Los Angeles County