8th Annual Vermont Kids Against Tobacco (VKAT) Statehouse Rally: Wednesday in Montpelier

For Immediate Release: February 4, 2004

Contact: Vermont Department of Health
Communications Office

BURLINGTON - More than 250 5th through 8th grade students from Vermont Kids Against Tobacco (VKAT) groups all over Vermont are expected to attend a Statehouse Rally in Montpelier on Wednesday, February 4.

Students will be discussing tobacco issues that face Vermont youth with Governor Jim Douglas, Lt. Governor Brian Dubie, Health Commissioner Paul Jarris, and state legislators.

“VKAT groups in schools and communities around Vermont have been devoted to keeping themselves and their peers tobacco-free,” said Health Commissioner Paul Jarris, MD, MBA. “Their hard work is paying off and fewer young people are using tobacco in Vermont.

The 2003 Youth Risk Behavior Survey showed that cigarette smoking has declined across all grades since 1995. The most dramatic drop in youth smoking was among 8 th graders.

At the Statehouse Rally, VKAT youth will present findings from their survey entitled “Operation Storefront”. The survey of local retail stores is used to document the amount of point-of-purchase tobacco promotions and advertising aimed at young people. The survey is used to raise awareness among adults and peers about the tobacco, beer, wine, and wine cooler advertising directed towards youth.

VKAT is a collaboration between the Vermont Department of Health and the Green Mountain Prevention Project. This year, 56 VKAT groups have received funding for their local activities. Over the past nine years, about 3,000 Vermont youth have been involved in VKAT activities.

Schedule of Events: