Wednesday, March 16, marks the annual day for Kick Butts Day, a day for kids across the country to stand out, speak up, and seize control against Big Tobacco. In Madison County, youth from Madison, Chittenango, and Stockbridge teamed up to take a look at how tobacco is marketed in stores in their communities.
Kat Wojsiat, a student at Holy Cross Academy stated that “Tobacco marketing in stores is a primary cause of youth smoking, and it’s up to us to speak up about it.” On Saturday March 5th the students visited 29 tobacco retailers in Madison County including convenience stores, general stores, pharmacies, and grocery stores. They identified toys and candy items near tobacco products and tobacco advertising. The youth recorded 1,094 advertisements, that is an average of 38 tobacco advertisements per store.
Josh Drake,13, from Madison Central School said, “In many of the stores, there were more ads for tobacco than any other products, and the tobacco ads were easy to see.”
Tori Allen, a seventh-grader from Chittenango, is excited to share what she saw with her peers and more importantly with elected officials. Jordyn Camp, a senior at Morrisville-Eaton, will share this information with the Madison County Board of Supervisor’s Health and Human Services Committee March 28.