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Kick Butts Day block party in Shreveport aimed at preventing tobacco use among kids

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Kick Butts Day national campaign aimed at preventing tobacco use among young people. (Photo source: Erin Buchanan/KTBS) Kick Butts Day national campaign aimed at preventing tobacco use among young people. (Photo source: Erin Buchanan/KTBS)
Kick Butts Day block party draws a crowd in downtown Shreveport. (Photo source: Erin Buchanan/KTBS) Kick Butts Day block party draws a crowd in downtown Shreveport. (Photo source: Erin Buchanan/KTBS)
SHREVEPORT, La. (KTBS) -

A block party in downtown Shreveport helped celebrate "Kick Butts Day", a national initiative to prevent young people from ever picking up a cigarette.

The 4th annual event kicked off at 4pm and lasted until 7pm at the corner of Travis and Louisiana Streets behind SUSLA's Metro Campus.

The Southern University Ag Center and Christus Health Shreveport-Bossier joined forces to host the party and bring awareness to the problem of tobacco use among our youth.

"Our job is to empower them to get that information out, and let their peers and others know some of the harmful effects that are caused from the use of tobacco," says Urina Holt, with the Southern University Ag Centers Communities of Color.

"We always strive to educate our children about how to take care of themselves, and definitely today, it's an opportunity for us to to teach them about how to be tobacco-free, and all the toxic chemicals that tobacco has in it," adds Monica Jones, with CHRISTUS Health.

Advocates like Holt and Jones are working with lawmakers to develop policies that reduce exposure of secondhand smoke and educate children about the dangers of smoking.

People at the block party enjoyed music, activities, and loads of information from various groups for kids and their families about the dangers of smoking.

"I know smoking is unhealthy and I've been trying to kick the habit and the most important reason is that I found out that I'm now expecting so it gives me even more initiative to put that butt out," says Atimberly Mapp, Cosmetology Program Director at Virgina College, who manned a booth at the party.

"Smoking is addictive and once they get started, it's kind of hard to quit so I would say it's good to catch [young people] before they start smoking," says NSU Nursing student Christen Tassin, as she and fellow students volunteered at the event.

According its national website, Kick Butts Day is an event organized every year by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and sponsored by the United Health Foundation.

The first ever event was held in 1996 and strives to win the fight against tobacco use.

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