In celebration of the “Great American Smokeout 2012,” the South Side High School Students Against Drunk Driver (SADD) club partnered with the Tobacco Action Coalition of LI and the RVC Youth Council in an activity to help our peers learn about the dangerous impact of tobacco marketing in stores on teens, and we took a stand against “big tobacco.”
In New York State, the tobacco industry spends approximately $1.1 million per day to market its products. This is of great concern to our club because studies show how exposure to cigarette advertising causes non-smoking adolescents to start smoking and move to regular smoking, and the more tobacco retailers are near schools, the more likely children are to smoke.
I think partnering with the Tobacco Action Coalition of LI was a very effective and smart move on the part of the SADD club. I believe in the importance of spreading the word for the right reasons. The Tobacco Action Coalition of LI does an amazing job stressing the importance of negative advertising surrounding our lives and the lives of children everyday.
Our SADD club at South Side supports this movement in every way. We all believe that change begins with those who are wiling to step out of their comfort zone to make a difference for the greater good. SADD members are dedicated to sharing knowledge and educating their peers and the public about destructive decisions, in order to prevent them.
Carol Meschkow, Nassau coordinator for the Tobacco Action Coalition of LI, commended the SADD Club for their work as peer mentors and leaders in taking a proactive step in demonstrating their support of reducing in-store tobacco marketing.
“The club did a tremendous job in educating their classmates by manning a table of educational materials on the danger of smoking and explaining the need for youth to send a strong message to ‘Big Tobacco’ to stop targeting them,” Meschkow said.
The SADD club at South Side High School is very proud of its efforts in educating the public. We would want nothing more than to create a united front with other educators in the state to spread this valuable knowledge. As teenagers, students and members of the community we are eager to have our voices heard on this pressing subject. Tobacco abuse prevention is a topic our club is very passionate about. We are always striving to gain support in enlightening the public on critical issues that our generation faces today.