SWLA youth 'Kick Butts' - FOX29 Lake Charles

SWLA youth 'Kick Butts'

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(Source: KPLC) (Source: KPLC)

The DEFY Youth Team hosted a "Kick Butts" pledge wall event at Lock Park in Lake Charles on Wednesday.

There will be food and educational materials about the effects of smoking.

There are approximately 600 ingredients in cigarettes according to the American Lung Association - things like lead, butane and arsenic. When smokers light up and their cigarettes burn, it creates more than 7,000 chemicals.

"Tobacco usage causes cancer; it's nasty and our youth have no idea what they are putting on their bodies," said DEFY Youth Team organizer Anita Barker. 

DEFY Youth Team is an organization of the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living. Barker said the Kick Butts event aims to educate and deter children from picking up any tobacco products and to inform people about the popularity of candy-flavored tobacco products. 

 "Years ago, we did not have to worry about e-cigarettes but now, the tobacco industry is putting all type of flavors - grape, Skittles, cotton candy- into e-cigarettes that will entice our youth to make these purchases," Barker said. 

Currently, 12.1 percent of Louisiana's high school students smoke.

"It's nasty," said DEFY Youth Team president and high school student Erin Black.

Black hopes to encourage her peers to stay away from tobacco products. 

"My goal is to encourage my peers not to smoke and not fall into peer pressure when they see other people smoking; if we all stand up as a group we can stop tobacco usage as a whole," she said. 

For more information on DEFY Youth Team, click HERE

If you smoke and need help quitting click HERE or visit www.smokefree.gov.

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