Southeast Students Joining in Kick Butts Downtown to Promote a Smoke-Free Cape Girardeau

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,

Nov. 7, 2010 – Southeast Missouri State University students are hoping to raise awareness about the dangers of second-hand smoke and demonstrate the benefits of a smoke-free community at Kick Butts Downtown planned for Nov. 18.

The event is scheduled for 5 to 7:30 p.m. at Bella Italia, 20 N. Spanish, and from 7:30 to 10 p.m. at Mixing 10, 2 N. Main. Participants must be 21 or older to enter Mixing 10.

Southeast students enrolled in HL432 “Health Promotion Programs” are joining hundreds of communities across Missouri and the nation, encouraging others to “put out their butts” to promote healthier lives for their residents, said Dr. Jeremy Barnes, a professor in the Department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation.

Along with the millions of people smoking kills each year, it also takes 53,800 victims of second-hand smoke exposure, Barnes said.

The first 200 people to register for the event will receive a free T-shirt. Dinner reservations are available from 5 to 7 p.m. at Bella Italia. Parties of four will receive a free dessert with the purchase of an entrée.

“Come out to learn about the benefits of a smoke-free community and experience a fun, fresh-aired Cape Girardeau for yourself,” said Laura Simmons, a Southeast student in the class.

The event will move to Mixing 10 at 8 p.m., where music and games will be featured, and participants may win prizes, including gifts cards, hotel stays and massages.

Registration for Kick Butts Downtown is now under way at the Student Recreation Center-North.

Tiffany Shasserre, a student in the class, added, “I think it is very important to show bar and restaurant owners that people will still go out if the environment is smoke-free. I am really excited about the event.”

Brianna Egbuka, another student in the class and a life-long resident of Cape Girardeau, said, “We really want to drum up support for a smoke-free community, and like many other Cape residents, I would love to see an ordinance safeguarding the community from second-hand smoke.” 

Student Shelby Wineman said, “I’m super excited about the opportunity to have fun in a smoke-free atmosphere without compromising my health.”

Kick Butts Downtown is sponsored by Southeast’s Department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation; Southeast Recreation Services; the Southeast Department of Athletics; Bella Italia; Mixing 10; Drury Hotels; Jimmy John’s; Ghisallo Running; Missouri Foundation for Health; Peers Against Second-hand Smoke; and Southeast Missouri Hospital.