Every day, nearly 3,000 young people under the age of 18 become regular smokers. Each year adolescents smoke more than 900 million packs of cigarettes. "These are unbelievable numbers," Secretary Thompson said. "We must do everything that we can to teach our children the deadly dangers of smoking."

April 3 will mark the 7th annual Kick Butts Day. Begun in September 1995, Kick Butts Day has grown into an international observance of the health dangers of smoking. More than 5 million children living today will die prematurely because of a decision they will make as adolescents — the decision to smoke cigarettes. For more information on how you can participate go to www.kickbuttsday.org.

Secretary Thompson continued, "I think that Kick Butts Day is a special opportunity for people to make a serious commitment to their health by quitting smoking. But everyday we need to kick butts."