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PNS Daily Newscast - November 24, 2017 


On today’s rundown, all eyes on the G.O.P. tax plan - labor groups say it’s not good for working families, and the view from Michigan is the likely loss of many services across the state; plus, report today on Black Friday and Native American Heritage Day

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Kids Across Maryland Take on "Big Tobacco"

Kids across Maryland are telling tobacco companies to stop trying to lure them into smoking as part of the Kick Butts campaign. (maryhere/morguefile)
Kids across Maryland are telling tobacco companies to stop trying to lure them into smoking as part of the Kick Butts campaign. (maryhere/morguefile)
March 15, 2016

ANNAPOLIS, Md - Tobacco companies try to lure young smokers through splashy ads in magazines, price discounts in stores and flavored e-cigarette products with names such as cotton candy, gummy bear and fruit punch, according to the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids. The organization is sponsoring about 1,000 anti-tobacco events across the country, including dozens in Maryland.

Aberdeen Proving Ground is holding a "Stop Smoking Expo," and program manager Karen Johnson said the 6- to 11-year-olds she works with are very anti-tobacco.

"A lot of them, their parents don't smoke," she said. "They're very much aware of secondhand smoke - so, even like, when we go out on field trips and they come across it, they'll be, like, 'Ugh, that stinks, that's not healthy.' So, they're aware."

In Maryland, according to the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, tobacco use claims 7,500 lives and costs $2.7 billion in medical bills each year. The group said nearly 12 percent of Maryland's high school students smoke.

Another part of the "Kick Butts" campaign teaches kids the harm that discarded cigarettes can do to wildlife, specifically to fish in Chesapeake Bay. Barry Cox, who works with the Maryland Cigarette Restitution Fund, said people think twice about tossing a cup or bottle on the ground, but many don't consider cigarette butts as litter.

"Here in eastern Maryland, the problem is that, when people throw 'em on the ground, they go into the wastewater, and it goes into Chesapeake Bay," he said. "and one butt in a liter of water will kill a fish in an hour."

Cox said his advice to smokers is, "Keep your butt in the car. The earth is not your ashtray." Kick Butts events are being held throughout the month in Maryland.

A list of statewide Kick Butts events is online at kickbuttsday.org/map. Maryland CRF information is at crf.maryland.gov.

Veronica Carter, Public News Service - MD