OGDEN -- Aminadab Paredes knows people who smoke, and it concerns him.
"Every time they take a puff it's time taken away from their life," he said. "Smoking is bad for you and kids need to know they shouldn't smoke. They shouldn't even start."
Aminadab is a member of the Boys and Girls Club of Weber-Davis. The group, along with The Weber-Morgan Governing Youth Council, Riverdale Kids Against Tobacco and several other community kids, spent National Kick Butts Day making displays at area parks as a reminder to people to quit or not start using tobacco.
With plastic red cups, the kids spelled out the message "Heart (the symbol) Smoke-Free Parks" on chain link fences in six parks, including Riverdale, Lorin Farr, Marshall White, George Van-Leeuwen, Harrisville and 40th Street. When they were finished, Riverdale's KAT Kids walked around the park and school grounds picking up cigarette butts and other garbage.
"It's time for us to try to stop people from smoking," said Riverdale fifth-grader Abbey Bell. "Kids have to live with it and be around it and it's not fair. It also teaches kids that smoking is OK when it's not OK."
Fifth-grader Samantha Bush said her father is a firefighter and has had to put out fires started by discarded cigarettes.
"It should really be against the law to smoke," she said.
Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, said Kristi Jones, community health educator in the tobacco prevention and control program at the Weber-Morgan Health Department. Tobacco use kills more than 400,000 people every year.
"We hope the public displays will serve as a reminder to people about the new outdoor smoking ordinance that went into effect last year and provide people with a good reason to stop or not start using these harmful and highly addictive products," Jones said.
Kick Butts Day is a national day for kids to speak up and take action against tobacco. More than 2,000 events took place across the country, according to kickbuttsday.org.
"I think this is a great idea," said Caitlin Fuller, a member of the governing youth council. "I know many people who smoke and have seen how it has affected their health. It's really hard to quit, but it's worth it."
Riverdale Elementary School took its last step in reaching its goal for a healthy smoke-free learning environment, said KAT Kids counselor, Debbie Armstrong. That step was to remind adults that both parking lots and the black top areas of the school are smoke free, according to the Weber School District policy and Utah 26A-1-123.