St. Lawrence County teens to speak out against tobacco companies March 20 for 'Kick Butts Day'
Tuesday, March 19, 2013 - 2:05 pm

Some St. Lawrence County teens and children will speak out against tobacco companies March 20 for "Kick Butts Day."

To tackle this issue head-on, Reality Check of St. Lawrence County will be participating in and assisting community groups in activities to support Kick Butts Day locally.

“Smoking is still a big problem,” said Shauna Rickett, Ogdensburg Reality Check youth advocate.

“Kids think smoking is okay since the stores we go to all the time are filled with tobacco products and ads, but we want to change that.”

Retailers in New York display an average of 32 square feet of tobacco products or the equivalent of more than 200 cigarette pack faces.

In New York, 82 percent of retailers dedicate at least half of the space behind the checkout counter to openly visible tobacco products.

“32 square feet is larger than a billboard,” said Fayeanne West, Lisbon Reality Check youth.

“And it’s illegal for the industry to use billboards.”

There will be more than 1,000 events in schools and communities across the United States and around the world.

“Since nearly all adults started smoking before the age of 18, parents and community members must be aware of the impact of all this point of sale marketing and take steps to protect our youth,” said Tarasa Lewis, Canton parent.

“It’s our community and our kids we want to protect.”

• Lisbon Reality Check – Flashmob activity

• Ogdensburg Reality Check – Walking Tobacco Audit activity

• Canton Reality Check – Airing Out Big Tobacco’s Dirty Laundry display

• Heuvelton Leos - Airing Out Big Tobacco’s Dirty Laundry display

• Clifton Fine SADD – Numbers CampaignKick Butts Day, organized by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, is a national day of activism that empowers youth.

For more information about the harmful effects of tobacco marketing at the point of sale, visit www.seenenoughtobacco.org.