As a former smoker of many years, I have great interest in this story. I wasted 36 years being addicted to cigarettes.

After breaking away from them, I feel like I got my life back. The world doesn't revolve around that smoke break anymore.

I can't tell you how to quit, but one thing's for certain. If you never start in the first place, you'll never have to worry about it.

Some South Dakota schoolchildren are joining others nationwide Wednesday in an anti-tobacco effort called Kick Butts Day.

The program sponsored by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids encourages kids to stay tobacco-free, call on tobacco companies to stop marketing products to them and urge elected officials to do more to reduce youth tobacco use.

More than 1,000 events are planned nationwide as part of the program.

Here in South Dakota, places taking part in the campaign Wednesday include Spearfish in the Black Hills, Parmelee on the Rosebud Indian Reservation, Ellsworth Air Force Base east of Rapid City, Waubay in the northeast part of the state and Watertown.