S.A.D.D. Club member attendees to Montgomery included left to right, Zee Dorsey, Scarlett Ridley, Kayla Stephens and Armand English, all of Anniston. Photo: Special to The Star
Four Saks High School teens from the SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) attended the Pa$$ the Buck Rally in Montgomery on March 7. These students are lobbying for a $1 cigarette tax increase that would generate $212 million in new annual revenue to Alabama's dwindling state budgets to save critical programs and services that serve millions of Alabamians. The teens are standing out, speaking up and seizing control on this issue since Kick Butts Day is promoted March of every year. The teens believe, according to the American Cancer Society and American Lung Association, that an increase would only affect smokers, who make up 20 percent of Alabama's population. The increase would prevent 34,000 children from becoming addicted smokers, it would save 20,000 Alabama residents from premature deaths, and it would save the state $11 million over five years in health care savings from fewer smoking-caused heart attacks and strokes and $4.94 million for lung-cancer cases. The Saks SADD members visited Rep. Randy Wood of Saks at his office in the Statehouse to tell him the cigarette tax increase is a win-win for Alabama because it brings revenue and saves lives.