Many local school districts participated in the Great American Smokeout® on November 21, 2019, with the assistance of Adirondack Health Institute’s Advancing Tobacco-Free Communities/Reality Check program.
Below is a list of school activities:
South Glens Falls High School
Reality Check students collected more than 70 signatures from peers on a banner in support of restricting tobacco industry marketing efforts during week-long tabling activities at the school. A wheel was set up at the table for students to spin to learn tobacco facts. The group also placed signs around the school with facts and statistics about vaping, along with cessation information to support those looking to quit.
Oliver W. Winch Middle School
The school promoted “SeenEnoughTobacco.org” by placing signs around campus with such messages as “Tobacco companies spend more on marketing than the junk food, soda, and alcohol industries combined,” and “The U.S. Surgeon General reports that tobacco marketing in stores is a primary cause of youth smoking.”
Schuylerville High School
Students created a colorful banner encouraging peers to “Ditch JUUL.” Banner colors were selected to represent the flavors and bright coloring used by certain tobacco products to draw the attention of young eyes. A table was set up at the school to provide a venue for supporting students to sign and place thumbprints and stamps on the banner. Students hope to share the banner with local legislators and take it to legislative events. In addition, signs encouraging students to quit smoking for a day and perhaps for good were placed around the school and informational tobacco facts were announced between classes.
Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School
Students held a day-long tabling event in the school’s cafeteria. A wheel was set up for students to spin to learn tobacco facts and receive cessation information. Students also created a banner for peers to sign in support of tobacco marketing reduction. In addition, AHI’s Reality Check Specialist Merry Rudinger spoke to health classes about the risks associated with tobacco use and vaping, educating them on how they could become involved in creating the first tobacco-free generation by joining the Reality Check movement.
Waterford-Halfmoon Union Free School District
Students participated in educational activities on November 13 in recognition of the tobacco 21 law going into effect in the state. Youth wore matching shirts that read “Ask me about T21,” and when prompted, explained the new law and how it will impact future generations. They also spoke about issues that remain a concern, such as flavored tobacco products, deceptive tobacco industry marketing tactics, and the portrayal of smoking and vaping in movies.
The American Cancer Society sponsors the Great American Smokeout® annually on the third Thursday of November, challenging smokers to give up cigarettes for 24 hours.