Kick Butts Day invites smokers to kick the habit


CONTACT: Jennifer McNeel
(334) 206-5667

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) is urging smokers to Kick Butts today, March 20.

Kick Butts Day is a national day of activism designed to empower youth to raise awareness of the problem of tobacco use, to reject the tobacco industry’s marketing practices, and stay tobacco-free. ADPH joins thousands of schools, organizations and communities across the United States in recognizing this important campaign.

“Kick Butts Day is a great way to start the conversation about the long-term risks associated with tobacco use in general, and smoking in particular,” said Jennifer McNeel, director of the ADPH Tobacco Prevention and Control program. Kick Butts Day is an initiative of The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, a non-profit organization that seeks “a future free of the death and disease caused by tobacco,” according to a statement at

According to the 2018 National Youth Tobacco Survey, a report recently released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI), almost 5 million youth currently use some type of tobacco product. More than 3 million of those youth use e-cigarettes, a category which saw a 78 percent increase between 2017 and 2018.

“The rise in e-cigarette use among youth is particularly troubling,” McNeel said. “They are being led to believe that e-cigarettes are a safe alternative to traditional tobacco cigarettes and products. The fact is, some of these devices can deliver as much as a pack of cigarettes’ worth of nicotine in one cartridge.”

But even as attention shifts to electronic nicotine delivery systems, the use of traditional tobacco products remains a major concern. The CDC’s 2017 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System reports that 27 percent of adults in Alabama use tobacco, and 35 percent of high school-aged youth use tobacco.

“On Kick Butts Day, and on every day, it’s our mission to help people understand the dangers of smoking and tobacco use, and to encourage them to pursue a healthier, tobacco-free lifestyle,” McNeel said.

There are short- and long-term benefits to quitting smoking. According to the CDC, smokers who quit see their risk for heart attack drop sharply after just one year of being smoke-free. Within five years of quitting, chances of getting certain kinds of cancer are cut in half. Smokers who quit also protect family, friends and coworkers from health risks associated with breathing secondhand smoke.

For those who are ready to kick the habit, the Alabama Tobacco Quitline is available. Alabama residents can call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or visit for help. The Quitline provides free, individualized coaching to help any type of smoker or tobacco user, including e-cigarettes and vape, to quit. In addition, the Quitline offers up to eight weeks of free nicotine patches to those medically eligible and enrolled in the program. Quitline coaching services are available seven days a week from 6 a.m. to midnight.

For more information, visit ADPH Tobacco Prevention and Control at

County health departments throughout Alabama provide a wide range of confidential and professional services. Contact your local county health department for additional information.

Mission: To promote, protect, and improve Alabama’s health

Vision: Healthy People. Healthy Communities. Healthy Alabama.