Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids Honors Nataanii Hatathlie of Kirtland, NM As Youth Advocate of the Year
WASHINGTON, May 16, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Nataanii Hatathlie, 18, of Kirtland, New Mexico, has been named the Western Region Youth Advocate of the Year by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids for his leadership in the fight against tobacco. Nataanii is being honored at a gala in the nation’s capital on Thursday (May 17) along with a national winner, three other regional winners and a group winner.
Nataanii is president of his school’s Dine Youth Council, which promotes tobacco-free lifestyles, and a leader of Evolvement, the statewide youth tobacco control group. With Evolvement, Nataanii participated in the Meltdown campaign to raise awareness about dissolvable and other smokeless tobacco products, as well as a program to raise awareness about the impact of smoking in movies.
In New Mexico, 24 percent of high school students smoke, and 2,100 kids become daily smokers every year. Every year, tobacco use kills 2,100 New Mexico residents and costs the state $461 million in health care bills. Nationally, tobacco use kills more than 400,000 people and costs the nation $96 billion in health care expenditures each year.