VKAT To Hold 10th Statehouse Rally

For Immediate Release: January 28, 2005

Media Contact: Kathy Roszman, Program Coordinator
Vermont Kids Against Tobacco
(802) 863-3461

MONTPELIER—On February 2, 2005 at 9:00 a.m., over 350 student members of Vermont Kids Against Tobacco (VKAT) will march from Montpelier High School to the Statehouse to be joined on the House floor by Gov. Douglas, Lt. Gov. Dubie and legislators. They will present the statewide results of Operation Storefront, a survey done by youth in their communities that focuses on point of purchase advertising for alcohol and tobacco products.

Joining them in the march and presentation will be Health Commissioner Dr. Paul Jarris and Kevin Bouchard-Hall, Vermonter and member of the U-23 U.S. Cycling Team. VKAT teams from around the state will be sharing specific activities they have been doing in their schools and communities to raise awareness of the dangers of using tobacco products and the benefits of healthy choices in all areas of their lives. Over 30 legislators will be meeting with the teams and joining them for lunch after the rally.

Vermont Kids Against Tobacco is a state-wide initiative for youth in 5th to 8th grades. There are 56 schools and community VKAT groups in the state - at least one in every county. Funding for the program comes from the Centers for Disease Control and the program operation is a collaborative effort of the Department of Health and Green Mountain Prevention Projects. The program began in 1995 with ten schools and has grown steadily over the last 10 years to the current 56 schools. VKAT groups have been successful in promoting healthy choices for youth and have played a vital role in the decrease of smoking among Vermont youth.