North Dakota

Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids Honors Madeline Erickson of Bismarck, ND, As Youth Advocate of the Year

WASHINGTON, Sept. 27, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Madeline Erickson, of Bismarck, ND, has been named a Youth Advocate of the Year by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. Madeline will be honored on September 29, 2021, for her leadership in the fight against tobacco at the Tobacco-Free Kids' annual Youth Advocates of the Year Awards celebration, which is being held virtually this year because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The event will be livestreamed at at 6:00 p.m. EDT.

From a young age, Madeline's mother educated her about the dangers of tobacco and the manipulative targeting of young people by the tobacco industry. When Madeline reached high school, she realized that many of her peers were vaping and weren't as fortunate to have the same information, so she made it her mission to pay the knowledge forward, educating her peers and helping them reject Big Tobacco.

Madeline is a member of the Bismarck Break Free youth board and helps plan the annual Youth Action Summits for tobacco prevention. She's held events at her school like "Donut Day"—a fun and playful reminder to "Donut Smoke" and "Donut Vape"—and took her advocacy to her elected leaders, supporting legislation to raise the tobacco age in localities across North Dakota, most notably successfully protecting the North Dakota Smoke-Free Law, and writing letters to the editor in support of other local tobacco prevention measures.

"We are thrilled to honor Madeline Erickson as a Youth Advocate of the Year," said Matthew L. Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. "Madeline's work is far-reaching and she is a strong voice in the fight for a healthier and more equitable future. Young advocates like Madeline are bravely standing up to the tobacco industry and leading the way to the first tobacco-free generation."

Every year, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids honors a National Youth Advocate of the Year, four Individual Youth Advocates of the Year and a Group Youth Advocate of the Year. The winners receive scholarships to continue their tobacco prevention efforts and serve as youth ambassadors for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

Tobacco use is the No. 1 cause of preventable death in the United States, killing over 480,000 Americans and costing the nation $226.7 billion in health care bills each year. Tobacco kills more than 8 million people worldwide each year.

In North Dakota, tobacco use claims 1,000 lives and costs $326 million in health care bills each year. Currently, 8.3% of North Dakota's high school students smoke cigarettes and 33.1% use e-cigarettes.

Additional information about the youth award winners can be found at and more resources and information about tobacco can be found at

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SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids