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Western Illinois University will take part in Kick Butts Day March 27 and provide information about the hazards of smoking and using tobacco.
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WIU and Partners to Kick Butts March 27

March 20, 2013

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MACOMB, IL – Every week, Western Illinois University's Beu Health Center's Health Education Office provides health and wellness tips via Twitter and Facebook. One week from today, Beu's weekly "Wellness Wednesday" will also Kick Butts... tobacco ones, that is. According to Beu Health Education Coordinator JoAnn Hairston-Jones, Western will take part in Kick Butts Day—which is sponsored by the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids—and provide information about the hazards of smoking and using tobacco.

She said Western students and personnel will be taking part in the national event on various parts of campus, including through an 11 a.m.-1 p.m. information table in the University Union Concourse, as well as a noon proclamation signing in the Union Concourse with WIU President Jack Thomas, Vice President for Student Services Gary Biller, Macomb Mayor Mike Inman and Student Government Association (SGA) President Caleb Markey.

"Prior to Kick Butts Day, students will collect cigarette butts from the Macomb campus for an awareness display that will include information about the environmental impact of cigarette butts. Across the planet, the litter from cigarettes from one calendar year alone can be stacked from Earth to the moon 300 times," Hairston-Jones explained. "Other topics will be addressed through information and resources, including facts about toxic chemicals in tobacco products (e.g., cigarettes contain more the 7,000 chemicals, including at least 69 cancer-causing toxins) and second-hand smoke (nearly six million people die each year due to use of tobacco and from second-hand smoke). Information about tobacco-cessation resources will also be available."

There will be a body bag and a display of tombstones outside the Union Concourse to emphasize the hazards of using tobacco, she added, and WIU Employee Wellness will provide tobacco-cessation information in Sherman Hall 105 and in the Union Concourse, which will feature information about the new Illinois Tobacco Quitline website.

Kick Butts Day—with a 2013 theme of "Stand Out • Speak Up • Seize Control"—is a nationally commemorated event in March sponsored by the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids. The national organization is encouraging students and individuals to participate in its Instagram project by taking pictures of tobacco marketing with their smartphones and tag the pictures with the hashtag #tobaccotargetsme.

WIU and area partners involved in WIU's Kick Butts' event include: Beu Health Center, Students T.A.L.K., Colleges Against Cancer, Eta Sigma Gamma, Inter Hall Council, SGA, WIU's Alcohol and Other Drug Resource Center, Campus Recreation, School of Nursing, the McDonough County Health Department and McDonough District Hospital.

For more information, contact Hairston-Jones at (309) 298-3225 or via email at Find Beu Health Center on Facebook at and on Twitter at

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