In downtown Shreveport the atmosphere was filled with dancing, food and fun but the message was serious at the 4th annual 'Kick Butts Block Party.' Local teens are taking up smoking at an alarming rate. In Louisiana, nearly 1 out every 4 high school students admits to smoking.
The numbers are concerning. According to the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids 5.6 million kids, including 98,000 in Louisiana will die prematurely from smoking caused disease. It's why the event is so important to Shreveport 'Kick Butts' organizer, Urina Holt, with Southern University.
"If we can get the information and let them know the causes, the effects from the use of tobacco at an early age we're preventing adult smokers which would cause other health problems," says Holt.
Southern University is in their second year of hosting the Shreveport event, all of Southern's campuses have adopted a smoke free policy.
At the Kick Butts event health partners from across Shreveport were on hand to educate children about the danger's of smoking and provide health screenings for adults. The event was free and adults were encouraged to take a pledge against tobacco and leave their cigarettes at the door.
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