Youth Raises Awareness for 'Kick Butts Day'

ELMIRA, N.Y. (18 NEWS) - A day that focuses on empowering the youth to stand out, speak up, and seize control against Big Tobacco. 

'Kick Butts Day' will be held this year on March 15, but members of Reality Check are taking the time now to raise awareness.

Youth from Chemung, Schuyler, and Steuben counties painted a mural that is now displayed in downtown Elmira. The hope is to show the community the negative impacts of tobacco marketing.

"It shows the 'power wall', which is actually the wall of tobacco at convenience stores," Reality Check Coordinator Sunnie Smith said. "So, they are painting two youth looking at the 'power wall'. One is going to be saying that they have seen enough tobacco. That is what this campaign is all about, we have seen enough tobacco."

While they are not only hoping to raise awareness throughout the community, members of Reality Check are also learning a lesson by painting the mural.

"I think it's really important as a young kid in the community to speak out against this, because we are being targeted," Reality Check member Lee Dennery said. "All of us young kids are being targeted by tobacco marketing."

"Stuff like this is important, because I personally have seen a lot of my family struggle with tobacco use and addiction from a young age," Reality Check member Amber Updike said.

"I hope that it will show the dangers of tobacco influencing the youth," local youth and Notre Dame High School student Macie Barone said. "Maybe it will make people see this isn't a good idea to show our kids."

To learn more on this national campaign, click here.

To learn how you can join the fight, click here.

To learn more about the Southern Tier Tobacco Awareness Coalition, click here.


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