2014 News From Around the State

Youth Advocate of the Year Award

DECEMBER 19, 2014The 2015 Youth Advocate of the Year Award application has been released.  Take your time to fill out the application with all of the work you’ve done with Reality Check and on your own to fight the influence of big tobacco in your community.


NOVEMBER 21, 2014Reality Check programs across New York state came out to support the American Cancer Society’s  Great American Smoke Out and spread the word that quitting smoking is the single most important step you can take to improve your health.

World No Tobacco Day Success

JUNE 2, 2014Reality Check youth advocates from all over the state celebrating World No Tobacco Day on Saturday, May 31st by educating their communities about the dangers of tobacco and tobacco marketing through activities in their local communities. From Schenectady to Binghamton to Plattsburgh and beyond, Reality Check advocates spoke up about tobacco marketing in their community. Check out the photos below to see some of the activities our advocates planned and participated in

Reality Check to Denounce Discounts on World No Tobacco Day

Reality Check partners across New York State will host events later this month for World No Tobacco Day. Every year, RC celebrates World No Tobacco Day as an opportunity to tell the tobacco industry that kids have seen enough tobacco marketing in their neighborhoods. The tobacco industry invests billions of dollars on tobacco marketing in retail stores including discounts to make tobacco more affordable.  These discounts are deadly because they bring death and disease to the people who use tobacco including more than 100,000 youth in New York State.

World No Tobacco Day on May 31 is an international day of advocacy sponsored by the World Health Organization.  It brings together people around the world to stand up against big tobacco and highlights strategies used to keep smokers from quitting and to recruit new customers, which are almost entirely youth. One key strategy of the tobacco industry is to spend billions of dollars each year to keep the price of tobacco as low as possible and negate the effect of the sales tax.  Smoking continues to be the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the U.S., killing more than 23,600 New Yorkers every year.

#SmokeFreeMovies Twitter Party

APRIL 18, 2014- Check out these great photos from Twitter Party’s around the state!


Reality Check youth advocates across New York State will host a Twitter Party with other teen advocates and tobacco experts around the world to discuss smoking in youth-rated movies including the billions of tobacco impressions seen on screen each year.

We invite you to join our Twitter conversation as we continue to pressure the MPAA for an R rating

Kick Butts Day 2014

Reality Check of New York is proud to participate in Kick Butts Day each year, hosting countless events across the state in local schools and community venues in collaboration with numerous local community based organizations and youth groups.

Here is a quick preview of some of the local events planned for Kick Butts Day 2014 across the state:

Albany, Schenectady & Rensselaer Counties – Albany, NY
Capital Region Reality Check and the Capital District Tobacco Free Coalition have partnered with local community coalitions and youth organizations to collect 245 shoes for an exhibit to represent the 245 New York teens who become daily smokers every week, with tobacco marketing being a primary cause. This exhibit will be on display from 3-6PM at Crossgates Mall, where there will also be educational activities, games and ways to take action to “Kick Tobacco Marketing to the Curb.”

Madison, Oneida & Herkimer Counties – Canastota, NY
Reality Check Central will be hosting a press conference at Canastota Central School where youth will share their concerns about tobacco marketing in their community. Syracuse University will also release the latest findings of stores that sell tobacco products in Madison, Oneida, and Herkimer County. Reality Check Central will also be at Sangertown Mall from 3-6PM with information and visuals about tobacco and tobacco marketing.

Clinton, Franklin & Essex Counties – Plattsburgh, NY
Reality Check will be “Airing Out Big Tobacco’s Dirty Laundry” at Champlain Centres Mall from 4:30-7:30PM. Reality Check members will display the numerous ways that the tobacco industry has lied, deceived and manipulated. They will also be taking over the airwaves on their local radio station, WIRY.

Hamilton, Fulton & Montgomery Counties – Canajoharie, NY
Reality Check will “Air Out Big Tobacco’s Dirty Laundry” at the Canajoharie Family Fun Day in addition to providing information about how their community can fight back against tobacco marketing.

Delaware, Otsego & Schoharie Counties – Delhi, NY
Reality Check youth at Delaware Academy are putting together a visual display in their school of the “Cost of Smoking” using visuals and money to show the cost and dangers of smoking. The money and displays will be donated to a local charity in the Village of Delhi. Reality Check youth have also been gracing the airwaves with their anti-tobacco industry message.

Staten Island, NY
All local tobacco control partners, including Reality Check, will participate in a Press Conference at a local high school, highlighting the ways that tobacco and tobacco marketing continue to affect young people. All tobacco control partners will share the work that they are doing locally and the work that still needs to be done. The Borough President will also be in attendance to speak to how tobacco is an ongoing problem in Staten Island.

Putnam County – Poughkeepsie, NY
Reality Check is partnering with the Hudson Valley Tobacco Free Partners on an event at the Poughkeepsie Galleria. Youth will participate in a flash mob about tobacco marketing in addition to having interactive displays and games.

Jefferson & Lewis Counties
Reality Check youth will outline 70 bodies in the snow to represent the 70 New Yorkers who die daily of tobacco related illnesses. They will also table at Salmon Run Mall in Watertown, NY on 3/22 where youth will educate their community.

Fame & Shame Awards Announced for International Week of Action

FEBRUARY 21, 2014Smoking imagery in youth-rated movies is still common and a primary recruiter of teen smokers – just one of the many manipulative marketing tactics embraced by the tobacco industry.  Reality Check is joining youth around the world to create awareness about the way Hollywood encourages youth to smoke during the International Week of Action (February  24 to March 2), which coincides with the week leading up to the 86th Academy Awards.

For 10 years, Reality Check has been working to get Hollywood to eliminate smoking in youth rated movies with an “R” rating.

According to the Surgeon General’s 2014 Report, youth who are exposed to images of smoking in movies are more likely to smoke; those who get the most exposure to on-screen smoking are about twice as likely to begin smoking as those who get the least exposure. The report further states that actions that would eliminate the depiction of tobacco use in movies could have a significant effect on preventing youth from becoming tobacco users. PG-13 movies are the biggest concern since they accounted for nearly two-thirds of the smoking scenes adolescents saw on the big screen in 2012.

To celebrate International Week of Action and recognize the best and worst of smoke free movies, Reality Check youth from across New York State presented awards to movie studios, actors, and directors.

Reality Check Heads to Legislative Day 2014

February 10th, 2014- On Wednesday, February 12th, Reality Check groups from across New York State will travel to the capital to share how tobacco control #SavesLivesAndMoney. They will join tobacco control contractors from across the state to highlight the importance of reducing and preventing tobacco use.