Advocates, Kick Butts Day Fight Tobacco Use

Ben Rainwater

JACKSON, Tenn. - Smoking is said to be the most preventable cause of death in the United States. One in every five deaths in our country are linked to smoking.

It is a deadly addiction that's adverse health affects attribute to an estimated 443,000 deaths per year.

"If you want to limit you options in life, keep smoking," said
Vickie Honeycutt of Regional Medical Associates in Jackson.

Honeycutt, a nurse practitioner, has been speaking out against smoking for years. She said it is a major problem, that is skyrocketing within today's youth, as nearly nine out of every ten smokers start by the age of 18.

"No one plans to become addicted to any substance, but young people want to fit in. It's cool, or they think it's cool, mimicking someone else they admire," said Honeycutt.

Other health risks include cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease and even cancer.

In many cases, the risks do not outweigh the rewards, even to smokers.

Smokers said they want to stop, but they cannot. Because the addiction is so strong, they become dependent on the cigarettes.

"It begins as a social thing because everyone else was smoking, and it's a part of life now," said smoker Timothy Bradford.

To put an end to smoking, the habit has to be stopped before it can even start.

That is the goal of "Kick Butts Day." The day of activism aims to raise awareness against smoking, encourage young people to reject it, and hope that one day the fight against tobacco can be won.

"The best thing is to never start. If someone has started smoking, do everything you can to quit," said Honeycutt.


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