DENISON,TX---Students at a local middle school learned about the dangers of tobacco Wednesday morning.
"There's over 7,000 chemicals in tobacco and several of them can cause cancer." said Aubyn Thompson.
Students were stomping their feet and rapping to a beat at B. McDaniel middle school in Denison Wednesday morning to celebrate the 19th annual "National kick butts day".
"Some of these kids in this school, I know, do tobacco." said Thompson.
"They really don't understand how dangerous it is." said Kelly Neidert.
According to tobaccofreekids.org, almost half a million people die from smoking in the U.S. each year and the CDC says in 2012, 6.7% of middle school and 23.3% of high school students admitted using tobacco.
B.Mac counselor Liz Dunn leads the "Texas Tobacco Troopers", a group of middle schoolers, dedicated to keeping kids from picking up the habit.
"Don't assume that because you have a 6th grader, that they're not involved, or not being exposed to tobacco; they are." said Elizabeth Dunn.
But their message is making a difference.
Dunn says 81.9 % of teens don't smoke and according to the CDC, cigarette smoking among middle schoolers and high schoolers declined between 2000 and 2011.
Kelly Niedert hopes her fellow students hear the message.
"They think it's cool, it's not gonna hurt them, everybody else is doing it, but it's very harmful."said Niedert.
Dunn says the group hopes to involve state lawmakers in their campaign.
In the meantime, they'll keep kicking butts, with our help and yours.
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