Building a wall against tobacco to smoke out targeted advertising
year, on the third Thursday of November, the American Cancer Society’s
Great American Smoke Out challenges people to stop using tobacco and
provides an opportunity to advocate for tobacco control initiatives.
From Nov. 14-18, Advancing Tobacco-Free Communities
in Delaware, Otsego and Schoharie Counties (ATFC-DOS) worked
collaboratively with Schoharie Central School District on a Great
American Smoke Out (GASO) project. The project highlighted the
Seen Enough Tobacco statewide advertising campaign.
Seen Enough Tobacco paper emojis were provided to
homerooms in grades 7-12, and each student choosing to participate in
supporting the tobacco-free message was asked to write his or her name
on an emoji. Students were also encouraged to collect signed emojis from
other students and from family, staff and faculty members.
SCS students collected 738 signed paper emojis.
Jennifer Bellin’s homeroom collected the most emojis, at 121 and earned
a pizza party and "We've Seen Enough" t-shirts.
Schoharie Town Supervisor Chris Tague stopped by to
commend the students' efforts and to share his personal story about
quitting smoking cold turkey on GASO in November 2013. Tague related
that he started smoking at age 13, the average age of a new smoker in
New York state. As a former three-pack-a-day smoker, he urged the
students to avoid all tobacco use whether it be the traditional
cigarette, chew or vape.
Six students helped assemble a power wall posted
with all the collected emojis outside of the high school gym
communicating that "We’ve Seen Enough Tobacco" to students, staff and
The power wall will remain up throughout the
basketball season to combat the large, visually appealing displays of
tobacco products that are prevalent in area stores and intended to
attract the interest of both youth and adult customers.
In 2012, the U.S. Surgeon General concluded that
tobacco industry marketing causes youth smoking. Stores popular among
adolescents contain almost three times more tobacco marketing materials
compared to other stores in the same community.
According to program coordinator Linda E. Wegner,
Advancing Tobacco-Free Communities in Delaware, Otsego and Schoharie
Counties (ATFC-DOS) works to build healthier communities where people
live, learn, work and play. ATFC-DOS is funded by a grant from the New
York State Bureau of Tobacco Control to the Research Foundation of SUNY
at SUNY Cobleskill. ATFC-DOS works on a variety of initiatives to change
the community environment to support New York State’s tobacco-free norm.
Special thanks to Linda Wegner for her work on
this article and the campaign.