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KICK BUTTS kicked some butts at the 11th World Conference on Tobacco or Health in Chicago, Illinois during the week of August 6-11, 2000. The conference gathered more than 3,000 motivated, high-energy individuals that came from great distances to join hands in this fight against tobacco.

What is the 11th World Conference on Tobacco or Health about? It's the coming together of leaders in health, government, business and industry, advocacy, communications and education to learn and work together so that their voices could be heard as a community that will no longer be fooled by the tobacco industry. It was also a time for KICK BUTTS members to shine!

Melissa Mills, program manager for KICK BUTTS presented an abstract, in poster form with all twelve chapters listed. The abstracts included highlights of members successes throughout the program. The abstracts were filled with several pictures of dedicated members working on projects that add to their fight against tobacco.

Some of the pictures were of members at the Girls Club of Los Angeles and the Caroldale Learning Community of Carson working hard on their anti-tobacco advertisements.

Other parts included stories about Smoke Free Events like the 32nd Annual Watts Summer Festival and the Teen Expo.

Another success story of KICK BUTTS members was when The Los Angeles Times announced that they would no longer accept tobacco advertising. This is a result of passionate letters written by KICK BUTTS members. Great work!

The success of the abstracts were made possible by the members who have participated in these projects and who continue to strive for different ways to make their voices heard," said Melissa Mills.

Make your voices be heard. Your work and dedication may be heard by thousands!


Angered by the new Philip Morris television advertising campaign, Allice Hua gave a speech at the American Lung Association of Los Angeles County in a press conference on August 31, 2000

Good Morning, my name is Allice Hua and I'm a proud member of the West San Gabriel Valley Boys & Girls Club. I'm 16 years old and I'm going to be a senior in high school this year.

Allice has been a passionate leader for the Youth Educating Society in the fight against tobacco for four years. Her inspiration came from seeing many of her peers become regular smokers and from seeing her father's health deteriorate from smoking cigarettes for many years. She also has a growing concern for the increasing misuse of cigarettes in film. She fears that those who are not educated will think that smoking makes you look cool.

She began her fight against tobacco by working with members to set a goal and a plan for Y.E.S. Their first goal was to reduce youth access tobacco. They first investigated how many places in their community had cigarette vending machines including bowling alleys and restaurants. Second, they wanted to know how much concern and awareness the community had about these vending machines.

Allice and fellow Y.E.S. members presented their research to each city council member of the City of Monterey and were rewarded when the council passed a city ordinance that bans vending machines and self-service displays of tobacco.

Allice is proud of her accomplishments, but feels that this was only a small part in the big fight against tobacco. Allice continues to be actively involved. She feels that there is a need for youths to educate themselves.

"With education, youth has the greatest tool against tobacco and could only excel if we continue to learn about Philip Morris and its tricks," says Allice.


ADVOCATE: An individual who ACTIVELY fights for a cause or an issue they believe in to make change

Did you know that 430,000 Americans die each year from diseases directly related to cigarette smoking? Did you know that the tobacco industry spends millions of dollars to make their advertisements appeal to young people? Did you also know that tobacco companies net over one billion a year on illegal sales of cigarettes to youth, harming lungs of young people like you? If you didn't know these facts, then you've been fooled!

One of the largest tobacco companies, Phillip Morris, has played yet another trick. That trick is the funding of their so-called, "youth smoking prevention programs" and their new campaign that says, "At Phillip Morris, We Care." Don't be fooled! Underneath this "good guy" mask Phillip Morris continues to fight against policies that are effective in decreasing smoking and increasing health among all citizens.

What actions could you take to tell Phillip Morris and other tobacco companies that you are not fooled and demand changes? There are many things that have been done by students like you and have resulted in change! KICK BUTTS members wrote letters to the L.A. Zoo which resulted in the adoption of a "No Smoking" policy. Los Angeles Times also announced that they would no longer except tobacco advertisements as a result of KICK BUTTS letter writing campaigns.

To take action, here are some ideas:
  • Ask magazines and other publications to not accept tobacco advertisements

  • Ask corporations to have alternative sponsorships and to stop sponsorships from tobacco companies for their special events

  • Become an influential anti-tobacco advocate and tell your peers who think smoking is cool that it only makes them a fool!

  • Ask people in charge of special events to adopt a smoke-free policy

  • Most importantly, educate yourselves and others about current tricks that the tobacco industry is trying to pull!



Did you know that there are over 4,000 chemicals in cigarette smoke? Of these, at least 43 are known to cause cancer in humans and animals and 200 of them are poisonous. Did you also know that when you smoke you're inhaling the same chemical into your lungs that is also in nail polish? These are some of the other household products that have the same chemicals that are in a cigarette.

  • ?Vinegar (Acetic Acid)
  • ?Window Cleaner (Ammonia)
  • ?Rat Poison (Arsenic)
  • ?Lighter Fluid (Butane)
  • ?Batteries (Cadmium/Metal)
  • ?Rubbing Alcohol (Ethanol)
  • ?Charcoal Lighter Fluid (Hexamine)
  • ?Moth Balls (Napthanlene)


"I believe that youths have a strong, passionate voice, that when dedicated, can make a large difference in change," says Sonia Vasquez, program director at the Girls Club of Los Angeles."

Sonia Vasquez has been working with youths at the Girls Club of Los Angeles since 1997 and has empowered a number of youths in the Smoke-Free Peer Mentorship Program by educating and training them on how to take action.

Sonia seeks opportunities for youths to get actively involved in the fight against tobacco. She gives youths the tools needed to become true advocates by teaching them letter-writing skills, speech presentation skills, and so much more.

"All my kids are different and I treat them all as individuals," said Sonia, "Each individual excels in different things."

Using your best skills and applying them to the fight against tobacco is what Sonia says makes kids excel. Youths at the Girls Club of Los Angeles have given speeches to city council members, illustrated alternative scenes for movie directors, and participated in letter writing campaigns to magazines.


updated 3-18-01

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