In response, Oswego County Reality Check Youth will host displays on March 20th Kick Butts Day featuring personalized "Not A Replacement Selfie Statements”. By participating in this activity, youth and others pledge to refuse Big Tobacco marketing tactics. Youth will share their selfie statements on the walls at Oswego and Fulton High Schools as well as post to their favorite social media using the tag #NotAReplacement.
Big tobacco spends more than $1 million dollars every hour marketing to youth nationwide.1 In fact, tobacco companies place 3 times the amount of tobacco imagery in retail stores nearest to schools.2 Tobacco Free Network (TFN) Reality Check Coordinator, Jen Edick says, “The high school smoking rate in New York State is the lowest it’s ever been. However, since 2016, the use of e-cigarettes has doubled among high school students in New York State from 10 to 20 percent.3 E-cigarettes are setting kids up to become a new generation addicted to nicotine.”
Great strides have been made in the fight against tobacco marketing tactics that target youth. Yet every day, more than 3,000 kids under 18 across the U.S. try smoking for the first time and 700 kids become new regular, daily smokers. Tobacco use is still the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. This Kick Butts Day activity represents the current generation of kids responding to Big Tobacco marketing saying that “I am #NotAReplacement Smoker”.
Kick Butts Day is an annual celebration of youth leadership and activism in the fight against tobacco. This year, Kick Butts Day is focusing attention on the need to reverse the skyrocketing youth use of Juul and other e-cigarettes, which have become by far the most popular tobacco products used by kids. Reality Check Youth educate their peers on the marketing tactics used by Big Tobacco. TFN is supporting this local Kick Butts Day event/activity in Oswego County for youth to mobilize them and raise awareness about the problems of tobacco use in our schools and communities.
The Reality Check program is the youth empowerment initiative of Tobacco Free Network of CNY, a division of Integrated Community Planning of Oswego County, Inc., located in downtown Oswego. TFN is a community program that serves Cayuga, Onondaga and Oswego counties providing support and resources that aid in creating tobacco free communities.
For more information on Tobacco Free Network or Reality Check contact: Jen Edick, RC Lead Coordinator (315) 343-2344 Ext. 23 or Email: [email protected]