“It’s the truth! Every year, thousands of people find an easy way to quit smoking. They die. It’s an outrage.” That was a handout at Peninsula High School provided by its TATU (Teens Against Tobacco Use) kids during the Peninsula School District’s smoke-out exercise in April.

Among other things, Debbi Reed, a TATU representative from Henderson Bay High School, visited Key Peninsula Middle School with a stop-smoking program featuring Aaron Henderson as “Mr. Butt,” and prizes for KPMS students who rounded up the most signatures of people pledging to stop smoking for that day. First prize, a CD player donated by Best Buy of Silverdale, went to Becky Stacy for 1,158 pledges gathered wherever her spirit moved her. A $20 gift certificate from Gig Harbor’s Target store went to HaleeAnn Sullivan with 874 pledges, and Tim Best’s 782 pledges got him the third prize of a basket of Target candies.

The next day at HBHS, the lunchtime crowd of students was entertained by “Mr. Butt,” who encouraged students to pledge to give up nicotine for at least that one day, and Gig Harbor High School’s entryway was festooned with overhead banners proclaiming “Every 12 Seconds Someone Dies” from tobacco induced diseases.