In the midst of a sunny, yet cool St. Patrick’s Day on March 17, 50+ youth activists savored the mist of the mighty Niagara Falls to speak out about the billions of dollars of tobacco promotions in places where they and other youth can see and be influenced by them.
Besides Kicking Butts ( to bring attention to Kick Butts Day, a national day of activism sponsored by the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids) their goal was to seize control of the tobacco industry’s marketing and targeting to teens agenda in an effort to end tobacco use once and for all.
Check out the butt-kicking kick off:
The time for change is now. According to the U. S. Surgeon General, “advertising and promotional activities by tobacco companies have been shown to cause the onset and continuation of smoking among adolescents and young adults.”
“The average age of a new smoker in New York State is 13,” said Reality Check member and Olean High School senior Austin Ring . “We are all working together to make people in our community aware of this and ask for their help in protecting our future.”
Reality Check is New York State’s youth-led movement aimed at exposing the deceptive marketing practices of the tobacco industry.
“Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in New York”, said Jonathan Chaffee, Reality Check Coordinator at Tobacco-Free Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany (TF-CCA), a program managed by Roswell Park Cancer Institute. “We also know that tobacco marketing in stores is a primary cause of youth smoking and we’re asking for help from our community leaders to join with us and declare ‘We’ve Seen Enough’. This generation deserves to grow up free from tobacco industry marketing and promotion.”
Here’s how our youth sprecently spoke out about tobacco use and being targeted by Big Tobacco:
While Kick Butts Day is officially held on one day each year, our hope is that every day will be Kick Butts Day in the fight against tobacco. By making every day Kick Butts Day, we can win the fight against tobacco use, the number one cause of preventable death in the United States and around the world.