CHARLOTTE, NC -- It's National Kick Butts Day and a chance to remind kids of the dangers of smoking.
East Mecklenburg High School students say peer pressure and parents who smoke are the big reasons 11,000 new teens begin smoking in the U.S. each year.
Want your child to remain smoke free? Kick the habit yourself, studies show.
In Mecklenburg County, schools still go over the dangers of smoking, but teen drinking and drug use are now the focus of most prevention classes.
"We get the message," said East Mecklenburg High School student Delano Cunningham.
Cunningham hopes to play football in college and says most of the athletes in his sports medicine class know how devastating smoking can be to their health and ultimately, their sport.
"It's a decision. I never really needed to smoke," said Junior Cameron Stradford.
The East Mecklenburg students spoke honestly with NBC Charlotte on the anniversary of National Kick Butts Day.
"It just changes your life in a big way," says Chasity Cassell.
The students believe about 15 percent of students they go to school with smoke. But they say drinking and drug use is more prevalent.
Studies show teens are twice as likely to smoke if their parents light up, but the kids will also quit when their parents kick the habit.