Since 2020, U.S. cigarette smoking has dwindled to an all-time low of 12.5% according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Despite this remarkable milestone, e-cigarettes and vaping devices continue to infiltrate our youth and young adult populations nationwide. The use of flavors in tobacco products is an ongoing issue specifically pertaining to younger individuals. Reality Check, a youth-based program of New York State recognizes October 13th as “Seen Enough Tobacco Day”. The purpose of this day is to raise awareness of the tobacco industry’s irresponsibility by investing billions in tobacco marketing toward youth and minority populations in our communities.
According to the U.S. Surgeon General, young people who are exposed to consistent tobacco marketing are more likely to start smoking. The Reality Check group at the Institute of Technology at Syracuse Central (ITC) is creating posters depicting the dangerous effects of tobacco marketing on their peers that will be displayed in their school. In addition, the group posted Seen Enough Tobacco yard signs in Columbus Circle in downtown Syracuse. “We selected this area due to the high foot traffic throughout the day,” said Tobacco-Free CNY Reality Check Coordinator, Antonio Palmer. “The group wanted to ensure these messages reached as many people as possible, as education has always been the catalyst to everlasting change”.
To participate in Seen Enough Tobacco Day on Thursday, October 13, 2022, please share photos of our lawn signs on social media using #SeenEnoughTobacco and sign the Seen Enough Tobacco online petition at www.SeenEnoughTobacco.org to pledge your support.
The Reality Check program is part of Tobacco-Free CNY and works to engage local stakeholders, educate community leaders and the public, and mobilize community members and organizations to strengthen tobacco and e-cigarette policies that prevent and reduce tobacco and vape use. Efforts also focus on reducing youth exposure to harmful tobacco and e-cigarette marketing in retail settings, limiting exposure to secondhand smoke, and reducing smoking imagery in the media. For more information about Reality Check and Tobacco-Free CNY programs, visit www.tobaccofreecny.org or call 315-435-3280.