Seen Enough Tobacco Day
It's time to recognize what tobacco companies have in store for kids.
Each day in New York State, the tobacco industry spends over a half million dollars to market its products - and 90 percent of it is devoted to in-store advertising. Bright colors behind the counter. Large signs with special pricing. Rows and rows of cigarettes. Maybe you've never noticed them - but our children definitely have.
Young people are almost twice as likely as adults to recall tobacco advertising, and it makes them more likely to smoke. In-store advertising near schools and in low-income neighborhoods is particularly effective. The bottom line is, tobacco marketing is literally in the face of those most vulnerable to it.
Now we can't look the other way.
Let’s take a look to see what Reality Check groups from around New York State did for Seen Enough Tobacco Day in their local communities.
On Oct. 13, Reality Check of Tobacco-Free Staten Island hosted a chalk the walk and cigarette butt cleanup at Wolfes Pond Park to demonstrate the scary impacts of tobacco marketing on youth. The park is located near one of the largest high schools on Staten Island.
During the event, Reality Check members, in addition to students from New Dorp High School and St. John’s University placed flags where tobacco litter once was across the beach and chalked messaging on the paths leading up to the beach. Tobacco litter is the most littered item in the world. More than 200 flags were placed. The more tobacco retailer’s kids see, the more likely they are to smoke and where there is smoke there is tobacco waste.
Cherry Valley Reality Check
Advancing Tobacco Free Communities/Reality Check in Delaware, Otsego and Schoharie Counties (ATFC/RC-DOS) have seen enough tobacco and posted lawn signs and banners with tobacco-free messages to educate the public for SET Day. Signs were posted in Veterans’ Memorial Center Park in Cobleskill, at SUNY Cobleskill, at Sharon Springs Central School, near the Town of Stamford offices, at the Cherry Valley-Springfield Central School and at the YMCA in Oneonta.
Another SET Day activity involved using orange lawn flags to tag tobacco litter around entrances to several dorms at SUNY Cobleskill. While there are designated areas for tobacco use on campus, there is a significant amount of tobacco use and resulting litter including JUUL pods in areas outside of those designated areas. ATFC/RC-DOS aimed to help educate the SUNY Cobleskill community about the problem and encourage them to be a part of the solution.
Tobacco Free Broome & Tioga
Reality Check Broome and Tioga set up at the senior night football game at Johnson City High School. “We wanted to educate about POS using our candy or tobacco eye chart” Laura Kelly said. Kelly also said, “Our action for the event was getting signatures on a banner that we had made for the village of Johnson City to thank the Mayor for the work he is doing to protect kids from tobacco marketing.” He is working on a POS policy, but it is a slow process). We will be using this banner in the Johnson City holiday parade this year and will be presenting the banner to the Mayor at a later date.
Malone High School and Clinton Franklin and Essex Weekend RC
Youth from a few Reality Check groups put their projects together to show the scary sights of Big Tobacco. Judging by the finished products, I’d say, “They’ve Seen Enough Tobacco”.
Tobacco Free Glow
Reality Check youth from Notre Dame did Cups in the Fence to show the community they’ve, “Seen Enough”. Youth from St. Joes chose to show their community members they had seen enough by ‘Chalking the Walk”. Warsaw RC youth educated community members about the dangers of tobacco in movies tabling at the theater. While RC youth from Perry created a graffiti wall to show their peers they have seen enough.
Reality Check Oneida, Madison, and Herkimer
On Oct. 13 for Seen Enough Tobacco Day, the Mayor of Dolgeville along with the Herkimer County Prevention Council did a tobacco cleanup along with a mach “13th birthday party" at the farmers market. Our goal was to make people aware of the risky creepy ways Big Tobacco markets to youth along with cleaning up the community in which we live , play, and work.