Contributed by Live Well!
Wednesday, March 19 from 4-8 p.m. at Manassas Mall
Live Well! invites everyone to join health advocates in celebrating Kick Butts Day on March 19. This national day of activism empowers youth to stand out, speak up and seize control against tobacco use. Events across the country encourage youth to stay tobacco-free and urge strong action to protect kids from tobacco exposure.
Locally, Live Well! is encouraging youth in Greater Prince William to participate in a local Kick Butts Day event on March 19 from 4 – 8 p.m. in the Food Court of Manassas Mall. The event is aimed at raising awareness of the dangers of tobacco as well as providing information about local resources available to help current tobacco users quit. Throughout the month, local youth are completing a store assessment activity, which allows youth to collect information about tobacco advertising in convenience stores, groceries, and gas stations. Youth will be present at the event to discuss the takeaways from the activity.
Event attendees will also be encouraged to take part in a short survey that measures the level of exposure to tobacco advertising in the community. Community members can participate in the survey online at www.surveymonkey.com/s/exposuresurvey. Live Well! will compile and distribute the results of this “exposure survey” to encourage stores to reduce the amount of tobacco advertising, especially advertisements directed toward youth. Following the event, shoppers at Manassas Mall can view a window display created by local youth and community partners depicting the dangers of smoking and data collected from the survey.
Director of the Prince William Health District Dr. Alison Ansher, says “the students’ enthusiasm and energy is contagious – in a good way! They are so eager to share with others their insight on the dangers of tobacco. And when they share the message with other youth, it is so much more effective than hearing it from adults.”
The Kick Butts Day event is part of Live Well’s effort to reduce the risk factors that cause chronic disease. The coalition is also distributing “No Smoking – Young Lungs at Play” signs for posting at Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Parks facilities, including as parks, schools and recreation centers. In addition, Public Health Clinician Dr. Duong Nguyen, delivered presentations at local hospitals to encourage pediatricians and family physicians to discuss and discourage tobacco use with younger patients.
What is Live Well! In order to make Prince William County, Manassas City and Manassas Park a healthier place to live, learn, work and play, Live Well! works with community partners, advocates and stakeholders to improve residents’ nutrition, increase daily physical activity, and decrease the amount of tobacco exposure by making the healthier choice the easier choice, and therefore reducing the risk factors leading to chronic diseases. The coalition was formed by the Prince William Health District (PWHD) and the Prince William Health Partnership with a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Association of City and County Health Officials (NACCHO).
Youth groups that would like to participate in the Kick Butts store assessment activity may contact PWHD Director, Dr. Ansher at[email protected]. For more information on the PWHD, follow the Health District on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/PrinceWilliamHealthDistrict or on Twitter @PrinceWilliamHD. PWHD serves residents of Prince William County, and the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park.
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