This year our Kick Butts Day event at the State House is April 3 but the actual national Kick Butts Day is March 20, 2019. We want to raise awareness about our messages and make our voices heard.
This year we are focusing our efforts on educating our legislators and communities about menthol. We have been sharing menthol messaging with Chapters in preparation for Kick Butts Day so now it’s time for you to do your part and get those out!
THE MENTHOL MESSAGES
Here are some of the messages that we have been sharing with you all about menthol:
- “Tobacco companies have a long history of targeting the African-American community with menthol cigarettes. As a result, African-American communities suffered a major increase in disease and death from tobacco-related causes. About 1 in 5 (19.1%) of African-Americans smoke menthol cigarettes. It’s time to stop the injustice!”
- “Cookies and cream, strawberry, and cotton candy are all flavors that the tobacco industry uses to appeal to specific groups. Menthol is a fresh, minty flavor that also masks the harshness of tobacco, but is not regulated like other flavors. The fact of the matter is, menthol is a flavor and should be treated as such.”
- “It’s no surprise that tobacco companies seek out specific groups for their addictive products. Studies show that there are more tobacco advertisements and retailers in communities where there are more African-American residents. This targeting and exploitation led to lifelong customers who did not know the harmful effects of these products when they started.”
- “56.7% of youth who smoke used menthol products from 2008 – 2010. Menthol tobacco reduces the harshness of cigarette smoke with its cooling effects. This makes menthol flavored tobacco products more appealing to youth and inexperienced smokers, a clear sign of targeting.”
- “Menthol is a flavor, and yet it is not included in flavor restrictions. Tobacco companies have found loopholes in policies in order to keep menthol separate so they can continue to exploit specific groups. It comes down to state and local authorities, and the voices of our communities to change that.”
WHAT WE’RE ASKING
We’re asking Chapters to help us spread these messages to their legislators and communities on the nationwide Kick Butts Day, March 20. Pick one of the menthol messages above (or more than one!). Then choose one of the options below to share the message with your community:
- Create a cool social media post using these messages. This could be a picture and caption, an interesting graphic, or a short video that your Chapter records. Whatever you choose, be sure that it will work to post on your Chapter’s social media pages. Post your creation to your Chapter’s social media pages (if you do not have one, this is a great time to create one!). Make sure and use the hashtag #KickButtsDay and #84KBD so that you can be part of the larger convo!
- Create a video PSA to broadcast your message! Get creative with your Chapter and put together a video highlighting one of the messages. Share this video in classrooms or through social media. Make sure and tag some of the decision makers in your community like the Board of Health or school board so they can hear these important messages! Make sure and use the hashtag #KickButtsDay and #84KBD so that you can be part of the larger convo!
- Host an awareness day at your school! Set up a table at lunch or another time during the school day. Get creative about how you are going to highlight the menthol messages at your table. Maybe offer some mint candies to show that mint is a flavor. Maybe do a raffle of some kind. The goal is to educate your community on menthol!
- Create some kind of visual art project to highlight the messages. Make a collage, photo series, sculpture, or some other type of visual representation of the messages above. Find a way to share this art with your community!
TELL US ABOUT IT
After your Chapter has finished their activity, it is time to share what you did with us! Take pictures of your event, screenshots of your social media campaigns, or send us your PSA video! Share your work with us by tagging us @The84Movement_ on Instagram or @The84Movement on Twitter. Then send us information about what you did, how many youth were involved, and anything you want to share from your project to Jenna Carter at firstname.lastname@example.org and your Chapter will receive a free pizza party from The 84 in the month of April!