After school on Tuesday, students from Titusville Area Schools will partner with community members to clean up cigarette butts and other debris in Titusville parks. This is the third annual Big Butt Cleanup in celebration of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) World No Tobacco Day.
World No Tobacco Day brings attention to the health risks associated with tobacco use and advocates for policies to reduce tobacco use. WHO states that the tobacco epidemic is responsible for almost 6 million worldwide deaths every year. There is nearly 440,000 deaths in the U.S. and nearly 22,000 deaths in Pennsylvania.
The Key Club is one of the many student organizations participating in Titusville’s cleanup. “It’s not just our problem. It’s a problem all over the world, but we can try to make a difference in our community and raise awareness of other kids and all residents. Every little bit helps,” Junior Key Club member Sam Kerr said.
In the past few years, students have found little evidence of cigarette butts in the city’s parks suggesting that the Young Lungs at Play! Program, which was voted into ordinance in October 2012, has brought changes to the area.
PennDOT’s Crawford County extension is providing the group with orange vests and cleanup supplies, and the event is sponsored by the Erie County Department of Health, the Tobacco Resistance Unit and NWPA Tobacco Control Programs.
For more information on the risks of tobacco and World No Tobacco Day visit http://www.who.int/tobacco/wntd/en/. For more information on Titusville’s Big Butt Cleanup, call (814) 758-1919.