MEO Youth Services youths pick up 2,104 cigarette butts to mark the Great American Smokeout

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November 19, 2021
A total of 2,104 cigarette butts were picked up by Maui Economic Opportunity Youth Services participants at the Kahului Harbor Breakwater in conjunction with the Great American Smokeout on Thursday, Nov. 18.

The 18 youths scoured the breakwater off Kahului Beach Road for a half hour on Wednesday, Nov. 17, the day before the Smokeout. In addition to the cigarette butts, the high school and intermediate youths filled four bags with rubbish.

MEO Youth Services runs substance abuse prevention programs, which include tobacco prevention, during school and after-school and summer and school breaks. Youths participate in drug- and alcohol-free activities that are fun, strengthen the family, embrace culture and reinforce healthy lifestyles. The goals of the evidence-based curriculum are to prevent or delay the age when youths begin smoking and drinking.

Service learning projects, such as the tobacco butt pick-up, are conducted after school and during school breaks. For more information about MEO Youth Services programs, call (808) 249-2990 or email dane.ka`[email protected].

For more than four decades, the American Cancer Society has designated the third Thursday of November as the Great American Smokeout. The day offers an opportunity for smokers to embark on a life without smoking.

About 34 million American adults still smoke cigarettes, and smoking remains the single largest preventable cause of death and illness in the world, the American Cancer Society says. Smoking causes an estimated 480,000 deaths every year, or about one in five deaths.

For resources on quitting smoking, go to the website or call (800) 227-2345.

Jaymarvin Bautista, a junior at Maui High School, picks up cigarette butts at the Kahului Harbor Breakwater as part of an MEO Youth Services activity connected to the Great American Smokeout.

Cecelia-Marie Kaho‘okele, a 6th grader at Maui Waena Intermediate, shows the cigarette butts she gathered on Wednesday, Nov. 17, during an MEO Youth Services anti-smoking community service project.

MEO Youth Services participants scour the sand for cigarette butts to pick up at the Kahului Harbor Breakwater off Kahului Beach Road on Wednesday, Nov. 17, a day before the Great American Smokeout.

Eighteen MEO Youth Services intermediate and high school students picked up four bags of trash and more than 2,000 cigarette butts in 30 minutes at the Kahului Harbor Breakwater on Wednesday, Nov. 17.

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