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State Honoree

Amit Bushan

Texas

Amit Bushan, 11, of Lubbock, Texas, a fifth-grader at All Saints Episcopal School, conducted a campaign to educate his community about the dangers of second-hand smoke, and led a lobbying effort to ban smoking in city restaurants. Amit, an asthma sufferer, couldn’t go to bowling alleys and restaurants with his friends last summer because smoke makes it hard for him to breathe. “Second-hand smoke is harmful to anyone who breathes it in, and it doesn’t make sense that we have to breathe it in public places,” he reasoned. He gathered data on second-hand smoke, developed a slide show for school children, and began visiting elementary schools in his area to deliver his message. Amit also organized a letter-writing campaign, took his case to the news media, and met with civic leaders to lobby for a smoking ban in restaurants and other public places in Lubbock. His efforts have attracted support from 30 organizations, including the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association, plus nearly $4,000 in donations. If Amit is successful in convincing the Lubbock city council to ban restaurant smoking, he would like to take his campaigns to other cities and even to the state legislature.