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It's (Non)Smokin'

Teens 'Look Cool' Without Cigarettes

April 23, 1999

Did you breathe a tad easier last Wednesday? Kick Butts Day, where teens across the country got out the word that smoking is way uncool, might have had something to do with it.

The national fight against the tobacco industry's promos aimed at young people was organized by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. The local push was headed by Cammie Rustia and members of the International Club at Rosary High in Fullerton.

Cammie and crew put on a fashion show Sunday at the Block in Orange, where more than 400 spectators heard the dirt about smoking and watched 20 teen models strut their nicotine-free stuff in duds provided by Anchor Blue, Coda, Ron Jons and Tilly's.

"We wanted to show how to look cool when you don't smoke," says Cammie, 16. "We wanted to let everyone know that smoking is an equal-opportunity killer, and that using cigarettes is a fashion faux pas."

The girls who modeled attend Rosary High, an all-girl, private school in Fullerton. The guy models were the girls' friends. Cammie, who wore a Billabong tube top and a three-quarter-length Billabong skirt, was escorted by Kevin Saman, 17, who goes to Canyon High in Anaheim. Kevin dressed up in a shirt by Atomic Garage and Volcom cargo pants.

To plan the event, club members met for two hours every Friday for four months. Cammie and the others devoted 16 more hours last weekend to Kick Butts Day.

Why so dedicated?

"I learned that I can have a great time and teach about tobacco smoke by being a youth advocate," says Cammie, who lives in Huntington Beach. "When I was in junior high, I knew people who smoked, and it changed the way I viewed them. I've been offered cigarettes, but I'll always refuse."

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, a nonprofit organization, can be reached at (800) 284-5437; http://www.tobaccofreekids.org or http://www.kickbuttsday.org.

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