Group aims to 'kick smoking in the butt'
Every day more than 3,000 kids under the age of 18 will try smoking according to the campaign for tobacco free kids. However, groups are teaching students why that habit should be kicked in the butt.
3 million high school students are current smokers in the U.S.; 73,000 of them being in Tennessee.
"What we want to do is raise awareness in our state and encourage youth to reject tobacco," said Calandra Smith with the Hamilton County Coalition.
Smith says advertisements are geared toward the younger generations.
"Try to lure them in and make them think that smoking is ok and that they won't become addicted to smoking," said Smith.
According to the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, nearly $9 billion is spent every year by tobacco companies for their advertising.
Smith says they believe the advertising is giving kids the wrong ideas...
"One of the myths is I'm young, I have plenty of time to stop, but you can still have long term effects even if you choose to stop," said Smith.
Nearly $3 billion is spent every year in health care costs in Tennessee from smoking.
We learned 480,000 people die from cigarette smoking and second hand smoke each year.
Lachyna Harrison and Faith Alexander tell Channel 3 they don't want that to happen to them and encourage their friends to stop.
"Yea, I tell them to stop but they don't listen, they try to be grown," said Harrison.
"I don't want them to be by me when they're smoking a cigarette, I walk away," said Alexander.
Smith says she hopes students will educated themselves before they light up.
"Just to make them more aware of the dangers because they may not know, it could be just a lack of knowledge," said Smith.
To find more information on the effects of smoking, click here.