In celebration of the “Kick Butts Day 2016” the Glen Cove High School partnered with SAFE, Inc. and The SAFE Glen Cove Coalition in a youth-directed 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.” The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids sponsors “Kick Butts Day” each year as part of this national day of youth activism nationally and around the world.
Today, we are adding our voices to those other youth from around the country to voice our concerns about tobacco marketing and the impact it has on our Glen Cove and surrounding community.
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 student body because studies show how exposure to cigarette advertising cause non-smoking adolescents to initiate smoking and move to regular smoking, and the more tobacco retailers are near schools the more likely children are to smoke.
Health education student Brayan Villatoro states that big tobacco companies don’t value a person’s life and they only care about their profits. Students like Brayan strongly urge tobacco users to continue to try and quit and are frustrated that big tobacco targets young people.
“It is exciting to see the knowledge SAFE Inc. has imparted on Glen Cove Youth through our educational workshops, presentations and Life Skills training be put into action. The goal of SAFE Inc. is early intervention and prevention in an effort to teach kids how to make healthier decisions in the future. SAFE’s Life Skills Program and Student Athlete Leadership Team works with youth to help them understand the harmful side effects of tobacco use while developing peer resistance skills needed to resistance engaging in unhealthy behaviors including smoking,” said Ashley Ferrufino, SAFE Coalition liaison.
“It has been very rewarding to have worked with the SAFE Glen Cove Coalition over the past several years. It is exciting to see the students take the initiative to stand up against the tobacco industry. I believe that the Glen Cove youth are playing a very important role by asking our trusted faculty, adult community and peers to set a quit date and end their use of tobacco products,” said Anthony Gallo, high school health educator and chairman of SAFE’s Community Coalition Committee.
We hope that youth together across the state will ban together in order to demonstrate how important it is send a unified strong message that We’ve seen enough tobacco marketing, and we are banding together with the same message that we want to be the first generation to be tobacco free.
For more information about SAFE Inc. and their initiatives contact SAFE at 516-676-2008 or visit the website at: www.safeglencove.org.
—The Glen Cove High School Student Body