The Tobacco Action Coalition of the Finger Lakes collaborated with area schools in Wayne, Seneca, Yates and Ontario counties on World No Tobacco Day in May 2018 to educate youth about the harmful effects of tobacco use and the predatory marketing tactics used by the tobacco industry.
Students in health classes at Dundee, South Seneca, Midlakes, Sodus and Red Creek schools participated in a scavenger hunt activity. Students used the information they learned to educate members of their household. For example, retailers located near schools have three times the amount of tobacco marketing than other stores. Students learned that this is done to recruit youth, with the average age to start smoking being 13 years old.
World No Tobacco Day is an annual event sponsored by the World Health Organization that educates people about the health, environmental and monetary impact of tobacco use around the world. This year’s theme focused on the cardiovascular disease risk associated with tobacco use. Worldwide, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death; 17 percent of these deaths are caused by tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure, second only to high blood pressure.
TACFL uses events like World No Tobacco Day to mobilize communities against tobacco use by educating about tobacco-free outdoor spaces, smoke-free housing and reducing exposure to tobacco in the retail environment. Visit smokefreefingerlakes.com for information.