Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids Honors E. Tyler Boyle of Paris, Ky., As South Region Youth Advocate of the Year

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PRNEWSWIRE | MAY 13, 2015

E. Tyler Boyle, 18, has been named the South Region Youth Advocate of the Year by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids for his leadership in the fight against tobacco. Tyler will be honored at a gala inWashington, D.C., on Thursday, May 14.

Tyler is active in the Smoke-Free Kentucky movement and spoke at the kickoff rally in Lexington for the campaign to enact a statewide smoke-free law. He worked with his local health department to organize two political forums – before the primary and general elections – to focus attention on tobacco’s toll in Kentucky and the need for strong action to address it. He has also spoken at press conferences on tobacco issues with the Kentucky and Indiana attorneys general.

Tyler revitalized the SMACC (Students Making a Change in Our Community) Club on his high school campus, providing a forum for youth voices to be heard on tobacco issues. Within two months of initiating discussions with school officials, the group secured e-cigarette language in their high school’s smoke-free campus policy.

“We are thrilled to honor Tyler as our South Region Youth Advocate of the Year,” said Matthew L. Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. “Young leaders like Tyler are changing minds and getting results – both by convincing their peers to reject tobacco and spurring elected officials to take action. With their help, we can make the next generation tobacco-free.”

Over 400 public health, business, civic and political leaders will attend the gala to recognize Tyler, three additional regional award winners, one national winner and one group winner. The winners will receive scholarships to continue their prevention efforts and will also serve as youth ambassadors for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

Tobacco use is the No. 1 cause of preventable death in the United States, killing more than 480,000 Americans and costing the nation about $170 billion in health care bills each year. Without strong action now, 5.6 million kids alive today will die prematurely from tobacco-caused disease, according to the U.S. Surgeon General.

In Kentucky, tobacco use kills 8,900 people and costs the state $1.9 billion in health care expenses each year. Currently, 17.9 percent of the state’s high school students smoke.

Additional information about the youth award winners, gala and tobacco can be found at www.tobaccofreekids.org.

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