By Roger Mari
HONOLULU (KHNL) - It's been four months since the state's anti-smoking law went into effect and today dozens of kids gathered at the state capitol to celebrate the new law's success. It was all part of an annual event called....Kick Butts Day.
"REAL" is not an acronym, it stands for real youth supplying the real facts on tobaccos marketing schemes.
"We aren't against the smokers; we're against the industry that targets them. We aren't against the smoker in any way, we want them to quit so they can live healthier, Said REAL Member Alex Halley.
"They're putting out campaigns about, like if you smoke you can be like a D.J. Or if you smoke, you can be cooler, nicer, or sexier, or whatever," said REAL Member Michelle Magdarila
The group, "REAL," organized Kick Butts Day. They hope to raise awareness about how tobacco companies manipulate consumers. They say one example of this is through gifts.
"Kids, they want one, and then they get it, they get the MP3 player and they're all happy, and they have the cigarettes so they're like, oh well I'll just try these, I don't want to throw them away and waste them, and then, they get hooked on them," said Alex Halley.
For underage smokers, it goes beyond being just a health issue.
"Since they're not able to buy it, they might steal it, and then if they get caught it's just like a gateway crime and they'll start their life in the wrong direction," said Alex Halley.