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Bob Moon: The 14th annual Kick Butts Day has nothing to with the part of your anatomy that might come to mind, but everything to do with your overall health. Students across the country will draw attention today to the health hazards associated with smoking. Advocates say even though these events help discourage teen smoking, 3,500 kids still light up for the first time everyday and bring tobacco products fresh sales. Danielle Karson reports.
Danielle Karson:: Students get creative for Kick Butts Day:
Dan McGoldrick: They stage mock funerals for the Marlboro man.
Dan McGoldrick is with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. He says events like these have helped cut teen smoking in half in the past decade. But the decline is leveling off — these campaigns can’t compete with the $13 billion tobacco companies spend on advertising.
Cliff Douglas heads the Tobacco Research Network at Michigan University. He says tobacco companies sell brands like Marlboro at a discount. Plus:
Cliff Douglas: They introduce an array of fruit-flavored tobacco products that appeal explicitly to new users, almost all of whom are children.
But Phillip Morris Spokesman Bill Phelps disputes that:
Bill Phelps: Our marketing goal is to find ways to responsibly connect our brands with adults smokers.
The House is expected to pass a bill before it adjourns next week giving the Food and Drug Administration the authority to regulate tobacco.
In Washington, I’m Danielle Karson for Marketplace.
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