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World No Tobacco Day "Big Butt Cleanup" May 29, 2018

World No Tobacco Day “Big Butt Cleanup” – Titusville, PA 

On Wednesday, May 29, local youth plan to set out on the fifth annual “Big Butt Cleanup.”  The cleanup is in celebration of the World Health Organization’s (WHO), World No Tobacco Day (WNTD), which seeks to educate the public about the risks of tobacco use and campaigns for effective policies to reduce tobacco use in general.

YWCA youth advocates, Titusville elementary, middle and high school students will walk through town picking up discarded cigarette butts and other debris. The cleanup begins at the Titusville YWCA at 3:30 pm. Students will head downtown to Flemming and Scheide Parks, and end back at the YWCA.

The group’s goal is to raise the community’s awareness about the importance of adopting tobacco free environments, and to let people know how damaging cigarette butts are to our habitat, landscapes and ecosystems.  The Cigarette Butt Pollution Project, dedicated to the elimination of cigarette butt waste from our environment, reports that every year, 5 TRILLION cigarettes are sold globally, and over 287 BILLION are sold in the United States. Sadly, one out of every three smoked cigarettes ends up dropped on our streets, parks, beaches and waterways. 

 “Not many people realize it takes years, sometimes decades, for cigarette butts to decompose.” states Ashleigh English, YWCA Director. “And while they are they leach toxins and poisons into our water supply and soil.  They also cause forest fires, poison wildlife and children.” Adds English, “This cleanup is something we can do today, but we hope our actions might help people think before flicking a butt out a car window or onto on a street.”

All youth participating in the Big Butt Cleanup are members of American Lung Association’s Tobacco Resistance Unit (TRU) and will continue to be involved in peer education activities throughout the year.  In fact, Titusville Area High School Stand Tall, TRU group participated in Day at the Capital (DATC) in Harrisburg earlier this month.  The Titusville youth joined over 300 PA students in advocating to raise the tobacco purchase age from 18 to 21 and met with local and other state legislators.    

For more information on TRU and World No Tobacco Day, contact Paula Di Gregory at 814.758.1919.

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