State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I/Ref-Oneonta) met recently with high school students and adult leaders with Reality Check/Advancing Tobacco Free Communities Delaware, Otsego & Schoharie Counties.

“Reality Check is an effective program that educates both on the dangers of smoking to individuals and the high health cost incurred by all,” said Senator Seward.  “The program works because of the young people involved.  It is especially encouraging to meet with these leaders of tomorrow who are engaged and working toward a cause they feel passionate about.  I will continue to support state funding to ensure this key health initiative remains.”

The students discussed recent field studies they have conducted to evaluate the use of tobacco advertising at retail locations.  They focused on ad placement, the increased use of promotions and sales gimmicks, and E-cigarettes and flavored liquids designed to attract young people.

Advancing Tobacco Free Communities of Delaware, Otsego, and Schoharie Counties (ATFC-DOS) oversees the youth-driven Reality Check program.   ATFC-DOS educates the community and decision makers, mobilizes community members around the problems that tobacco addiction causes in local communities, and helps decision makers understand the types of choices that they have to address these problems.

Reality Check is an anti-smoking movement sponsored by the New York State Department of Health which alerts teens to tobacco company marketing strategies and promotes teens as decision makers in their own lives, as well as role models in their communities.