Kendall students join ‘Seen Enough Tobacco Day’
Press Release, Tobacco-Free WNY
KENDALL – Youth in Kendall and across New York State declared Friday, October 13, as the first-ever “Seen Enough Tobacco Day.”
The day gives youth a chance to protect themselves and other children from the billions of dollars of tobacco promotions in places where they and other youth can see and be influenced by them. The goal is to put an end to youth smoking and other tobacco use.
Youth advocates of Reality Check New York and Kendall Junior-Senior High School showed their community they’ve “Seen Enough Tobacco” in graphic and creative ways outside their school. Students chalked the walkway with alarming statistics on tobacco promotion. They also posted and carried colorful posters and hand signs encouraging them to take action as well.
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 day is part of the overall statewide “Seen Enough Tobacco” initiative.
“We know that most adult tobacco smokers first tried tobacco as kids,” said Maansi Bansal-Travers, PhD, a research scientist with the Department of Health Behavior at Roswell Park Cancer Institute who focuses on tobacco advertising and promotion. “Decreasing exposure to tobacco products and tobacco advertising is critical to decreasing youth smoking today.”
“The average age of a new smoker in New York State is 13,” said Reality Check member and Kendall eighth grader Shaylee Stoner. “We need to make people in our community aware of this and take action.”
“Reality Check is a youth-led, adult supported movement,” said Reality Check coordinator for Tobacco-Free GLOW, Shelly Wolanske. “These youth work hard not only for ‘Seen Enough Tobacco Day,’ but every day to advocate for change and create a tobacco-free generation.”
Findings on youth tobacco use and tobacco industry marketing in places where children and young adolescents can see them indicate:
- The average age of a new smoker is 13 years old, and 90 percent of adult smokers say they first tried smoking by age 18.
- The U.S. tobacco industry spent an estimated $9.5 billion on advertising and promotion of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco in 2013. This includes nearly $220 million annually in New York State, or nearly $602,000 a day.
- Stores popular among adolescents contain almost three times more tobacco marketing materials compared to other stores in the same community.