Kick Butts Day
Since 2007, TFL has engaged youth in a variety of tobacco control and advocacy activities through its Defy initiative. Defy is a Louisiana youth-driven advocacy movement that seeks to reduce the influence of the tobacco industry and promote tobacco-free lifestyles. Defy aims to train and engage Louisiana youth (ages 11-17) as advocates to educate their peers and adults about the influence of the tobacco industry and create policy change in their communities and statewide.
On March 16, 2016 nearly 250 youth and adult coordinators from across the state convened at the Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge in recognition of Kick Butts Day. Kick Butts Day is a national day of activism that empowers youth and young adults to stand out, speak up and seize control against the tobacco industry. The event raised awareness around the facts that youth tobacco use in Louisiana is higher than the national average and that the tobacco industry indiscriminately and directly targets youth.
During the day-long event, youth engaged in advocacy training, meetings with state legislators, educational activities, a rally and a press conference. One of the advocacy trainings was led by the Managing Director of Community and Youth Engagement from Truth Initiative, a national tobacco prevention counter-marketing campaign. The other advocacy training was led by four youth from TFL’s Defy initiative who spoke to their peers about the importance of purpose, passion and motivation in youth advocacy and tobacco control.