Spencer Flanders earns trip to Washington D.C. for honor
Courtesy of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Douglas High Student Spencer Flanders, 15, has been named the West Region Youth Advocate of the Year by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids for his leadership in the fight against tobacco. Spencer will be honored at a gala in the nation’s capital on Thursday (May 15) along with a national winner, three other U.S. regional winners and a group winner.
Spencer is a sophomore at Douglas High School in Minden. He has been involved in fighting tobacco since the 6th grade through his local group, Students Taking on Prevention (STOP). Spencer became passionate about the issue when he learned tobacco companies target young people like him. He approaches anti-tobacco advocacy as a social justice issue.
Spencer successfully worked on a smoke-free playgrounds campaign that resulted in regulatory signs being placed in Douglas County playgrounds. The campaign was supported by the Board and the Director of Douglas County Parks and Recreation and was approved unanimously by the Douglas County Commissioners.
Spencer is also currently a member of the group working to reduce smoking outside businesses.
More than 400 public health, political, civic and business leaders will attend the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids’ 18th annual gala in Washington, D.C., to recognize these young leaders. The winners will receive educational scholarships and grants to continue their prevention efforts. They also serve as ambassadors for Tobacco-Free Kids.
“We are thrilled to honor Spencer as our West Region Youth Advocate of the Year,” said Matthew L. Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. “Young leaders like him are crucial in the fight to make tobacco history and end this epidemic for good. With their help, we can create the first tobacco-free generation.”
Without urgent action to reduce smoking, 5.6 million U.S. children alive today will die prematurely from smoking-caused disease, according to the latest Surgeon General’s report on tobacco and health. That includes 41,000 children in Nevada alone.
In Nevada, tobacco use claims 3,500 lives and costs just over $1 billion in health care bills each year. Currently, 17 percent of the state’s high school students smoke. Nationally, tobacco use kills more than 480,000 people and costs the nation at least $289 billion in health care bills and other economic losses each year.
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