Friday, October 13, is “Seen Enough Tobacco” Action Day.
Melissa Potter is Reality Check Coordinator at the Cortland County Health Department. “So, Reality Check across New York State will be hosting events to help raise awareness and encourage community members to stand up and eliminate tobacco marketing and advertising in places where youth see them and create a Tobacco-Free generation.”
Any assistance in getting the message out is welcome. “The Tobacco-Free Zone and Reality Check are seeking support from community members and organizations to protect kids from tobacco marketing and access to tobacco, vape and smoking and paraphernalia in the community,” said Potter.
You may already have seen signs of the “Seen Enough Tobacco” effort around town.
“Lawn signs highlighting a tobacco fact,” Potter added. “We’ve also partnered with CVS and P&C Fresh to collect signatures of support from community members which they will display inside their businesses.”
Potter says there is an event planned in Cortland for this day. “Reality Check youth will be doing an activity in Courthouse Park, posting pinwheels in the ground in the shape of a “13” to signify the average age of a new smoker in New York State is 13.”
What can you do?
“Community members are urged to stand up against tobacco marketing tactics by signing an online petition. They can go to www.SeenEnoughTobacco.org and sign that online petition.
Potter says in New York State, the tobacco industry spends more than $200-million a year on advertising and marketing. “Especially in stores near schools, containing nearly three times the amount of tobacco advertisements compared to other stores in that same community.”
Potter believes the message about Seen Enough Tobacco is gaining traction in Cortland County. “We so far have collected 25 community organizations that have signed a letter of support, supporting our effort. So, it’s great, and you’ll start to see those lawn signs popping up throughout the county, really getting our message across.”
Potter says the Tobacco-Free Zone and Reality Check programs are always looking for governments and municipalities to work with to protect kids from tobacco through the website T-FreeZone.net.
In Cortland, Tobacco Free is organizing a rally at Courthouse Park at 3 pm Friday.
Reality Check also plans to recognize supporters of the Seen Enough Tobacco effort at the event.