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Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids Honors Colleen Daly of Asheville, NC As Youth Advocate of the Year

--Leadership in Fight Against Tobacco Recognized Nationally--

WASHINGTON, May 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Colleen Daly, 17, of Asheville, N.C., has been named the South Regional Youth Advocate of the Year by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids for her leadership in the fight against tobacco. Colleen is being honored at a gala in the nation's capital tonight (May 6) along with a national winner, three other regional winners and a group winner.


Colleen knows how to empower those around her to work for positive change. Colleen has a wealth of tobacco control experience, including meeting with legislators to advocate smoke-free air, educating youth about the dangers of tobacco products and serving as president of her local chapter of Teens Against Tobacco Use (T.A.T.U.). Currently, Colleen is working with Project ASSIST and the American Heart Association to advocate for statewide smoke-free air legislation in North Carolina. Her smoke-free advocacy also includes working to pass a smoke-free parks policy in Ashville and speaking at Asheville's minor league baseball stadium to introduce this policy to the public. Colleen also has developed a talent for graphic design and redesigned her county's Project ASSIST logo.

More than 400 public health, political, civic and business leaders will attend the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids' 13th annual anniversary gala in Washington, D.C., to recognize these young leaders. The winners will receive educational scholarships and grants to continue their prevention efforts and serve as ambassadors for the Campaign.

"Colleen Daly and other young leaders from across the nation are making great strides against youth tobacco addiction and their voices are being heard," said Matthew L. Myers, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids president. "Every day, 1,000 kids in the United States become regular smokers and one-third of them will die prematurely from tobacco-caused disease. Almost 90 percent of adult smokers began at or before the age of 18. Youth are powerful allies in the fight to turn these trends around."

In North Carolina, 19 percent of high school students smoke, and 11,800 kids become daily smokers every year. Every year, tobacco use kills 12,200 North Carolina residents and costs the state over $2 billion in health care bills. Nationally, tobacco use kills more than 400,000 people and costs the nation more than $96 billion in health care costs each year.

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is a leader in the fight to reduce tobacco use and its devastating consequences in the United States and around the world. By changing public attitudes and public policies on tobacco, the Campaign strives to prevent kids from smoking, help smokers quit and protect everyone from secondhand smoke.

SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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