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Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids Honors Emily Kile, Greenfield, IN, as National Youth Advocate of the Year

- Leadership in Fight Against Tobacco Recognized Nationally -

WASHINGTON, May 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Emily Kile, 17, of Greenfield, Ind., has been named the National Youth Advocate of the Year by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids for her leadership in the fight against tobacco. Emily is being honored at a gala in the nation's capital tonight (May 6) with four regional winners and a group winner.


Emily believes she and other youth can make a difference and is using her voice and her dedication to prove it. Emily serves as President of Greenfield-Central High School's chapter of VOICE, Indiana's youth-led movement against the tobacco industry and its targeting of youth. Emily is currently collecting petitions for an initiative called "Don't Glam Tobacco" aimed at reducing youth exposure to smoking in movies. In early 2009, Emily testified in support of comprehensive, statewide smoke-free legislation before the House Public Policy Committee in the Indiana House of Representatives. Her testimony continues her strong dedication to smoke-free policies, including speaking at and recruiting peers to attend a town hall meeting on the issue.

Emily also has worked for effective enforcement of her school's tobacco-free campus policy and is advocating for a smoke-free day at her county fair. Additionally, Emily has submitted letters to the editor and written feature stories for her school newspaper to raise awareness about tobacco. According to one of her nominators, Emily is a "devoted, hardworking young woman" whose "drive, support and abilities define advocacy."

More than 400 public health, civic and business leaders will join members of Congress and the Administration at the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids 13th annual gala tonight in Washington, D.C., to recognize these young leaders. The winners will receive educational scholarships and grants to continue their tobacco prevention efforts and serve as ambassadors for the Campaign.

"Emily Kile 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 roughly 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 Indiana, more than 22 percent of high school students smoke, and 9,800 kids become daily smokers every year. Every year, tobacco use kills 9,700 Indiana 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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