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Rebels 'kick butts' at local high schools


Students educate peers about dangers of smoking

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Beaverton High School students, from left, Jessica Maung, Amelia Monfared, Marwa Al-Khamees and Makenna Roggen represent the Rebels, an anti-tobacco group of local high school students on National Kick Butts Day on March 19. A group of students from five high schools across the Portland area are taking a stand against smoking by educating their peers about the dangers of tobacco use.

As part of the 19th annual National Kick Butts Day on Wednesday, March 19, local students at Beaverton, Sunset and Westview high schools set up educational displays on their capuses.

The students are volunteers with the Rebels, a group of students who partner with Providence Health and Services in Oregon to spread the word about the health risks of tobacco use. Other members attend Madison and Clackamas high schools.by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Thirteen percent of students 17 and younger will die from tobacco use each year. At Westview High School, that amounts to 150 of the 2,500 students. From left, Que Yun Xiao, Taylor Sparks, Julie Adebawo and Daniel Ramirez represented the Rebels at Westview High School on National Kick Butts Day on March 19.

As part of last week’s educational campaign, Beaverton-area students used props to share thier anti-tobacco message.

In the days leading up to March 19, the students also picked up used cigarettes within a one-mile radius of their schools to show their peers. They asked fellow students to sign a pledge not to use tobacco products and gave awareness ribbons to those who agreed.

Haley West of Clackamas High School said the Rebels’ message is an important one for her generation.

“Most tobacco companies target young people,” she said. “It’s important to show what actually happens when you use tobacco and that you can change it.”

Nationwide, tobacco companies spend $8.8 billion a year to market cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, which organizes Kick Butts Day events across the country. In particular, tobacco companies target youth with magazine ads, store ads and discounts as well as fruit- and candy-flavored small cigars that look just like cigarettes.

For more information, visit tobaccofreekids.org.by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Megan Fleming, Katherin Tillett and Jesica Vo represented the Rebels at Sunset High School. They used the tombstone prop to share the statistic that 13 percent of people 17 and younger will die from tobacco use each year.