Reality Check is New York State’s youth led movement aimed at exposing the sordid and manipulative marketing practices of the tobacco industry. Reality Check youth across the state work to educate their community members, elected officials and decision makers of these tactics and inspire them to mobilize and take action. The youth’s voice is paramount in demanding societal support to hold the tobacco industry accountable for its actions and to change the social norms that support those actions.

Through civic engagement, networking and most importantly FUN, Reality Check youth learn about their environment, their community, themselves, and much more.


Fun! – Have a blast during Reality Check Youth meetings, host/participate in local events, and many opportunities to travel across New York state and meet RC youth from other regions.

Civic Engagement – Through community service, youth will learn to work together toward a common goal as a group in the DOS region and with others across the state, creating opportunities for youth to connect with a multitude of backgrounds.

Skill Building – Real world experience in public speaking, writing, advocacy, activism, event planning, networking, social media/marketing, and so much more. Reality Check provides a unique opportunity for youth to showcase and develop skills for their future goals.

Our youth-adult partnerships have accomplished amazing things here in our area, including tobacco-free parks. Every neighborhood is different, and every youth group is unique, so you never know what great things we can get done together!

  • Skill-building, whether on academic skills such as writing and public speaking or technical ones such as event planning and video editing, Reality Check provides a unique opportunity for youth to showcase and develop skills for their future goals
  • Social and community connections: Working together toward a common goal as a group here in Delaware, Otsego and Schoharie counties alongside others  across the state gives youth opportunities to connect with a multitude of backgrounds
  • Fun! – Reality Check Youth will have opportunities to travel, socialize and have fun while engaging with their communities


Becoming a Reality Check member is simple and free! Below is a registration form that gives details of the entire program. If you or your youth are interested in getting involved contact our Youth Engagement Coordinator, Nicole at Nicole.Schuck@sphp.com.  




This calendar lists all of the state-wide Reality Check “Holidays” and events. This does not include the many local events during year like “Smoke Free Movies”, conferences, community presentations, local/statewide events and activities, and many other great opportunities.


Through with Chew Week & The Great American Spit Out

The Through with Chew Week campaign’s objective is to educate people about the dangers of smokeless tobacco. While this tobacco awareness event is not a priority event for us in NYS, it does provide an opportunity to build community awareness and engagement.


Legislative Education Day

Legislative Education Day is a day (typically in February) in which the New York State Tobacco Control Program comes together along with youth, advocates, and community members to educate their New York State Legislators on the work being done in communities to reduce the burden of tobacco. By demonstrating this success, we help ensure that New York’s investment in tobacco-free communities continues to be an investment in the future of New York.


Youth Ambassador of the Year Awards

The Youth Ambassador of the Year Awards, sponsored by Reality Check of New York State, honors the outstanding work of youth who have taken the lead in holding the tobacco industry accountable for marketing to youth. These young activists are fighting to protect their peers and their communities from the dangers of tobacco use through public education efforts, peer-to-peer training and outreach to educate policymakers. Many have worked to improve communities at the local and state level by limiting tobacco industry access to youth, protect youth from exposure to tobacco marketing and imagery, and educate on the benefits that tobacco prevention programs provide. Their work inspires and motivates other young people to join in their advocacy efforts.


International Week of Action

During International Week of Action, Reality Check of NY groups from all across New York State hold events in conjunction with other groups across the nation for International Week of Action. Typically, the event is held annually during “Oscar Season”(typically Februrary or March) to bringing awareness to smoking in films.



Take Down Tobacco National Day of Action

Take Down Tobacco, a fresh take on Kick Butts Day, is the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids’ signature platform for empowering people to stand up and speak out against the tobacco industry. The Take Down Tobacco program is a 365 day a year effort that culminates every March with the Take Down Tobacco National Day of Action. Typically the third Wednesday in March or April 1st



No Menthol Sunday

No Menthol Sunday is a national observance day dedicated to educating congregants and community members about tobacco, vaping and the role of flavors like menthol.


Mobilize Against Tobacco Lies Week of Engagement

Each year NYS Reality Check along with several other anti-tobacco groups across the country organize a three-day event that includes training and a day of action and advocacy in Richmond, Virginia at the Philip Morris USA’s annual shareholder meeting in May.


World No Tobacco Day

World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) is observed around the world every year on May 31st. This yearly celebration informs the public on the dangers of using tobacco, the business practices of tobacco companies, what the World Health Organization (WHO) is doing to fight against the use of tobacco, and what people around the world can do to claim their right to health and healthy living and to protect future generations.



New York State Youth Summit

The New York State Youth Summit provides an opportunity for Reality Check youth leaders from across the state to come together, to learn, plan, and connect.


Youth Summit is a three-day event that educates and engages New York State Youth Leaders. The culmination of the three days is a community activism event with the message that We Have Seen Enough Tobacco! The youth take what they experience to plan for a similar action in their home communities.


200 teens and adults working together for a healthier New York State makes this an incredibly impactful event!



Seen Enough Tobacco Day

Youth and community leaders declared October 13th as the annual Seen Enough Tobacco Day in New York State. Its purpose is to raise awareness about the impact of tobacco in New York and to take action to protect their communities from the billions of dollars of tobacco promotions.



Great American Smoke-out

The American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout® is an annual event that encourages and offers support to smokers to make a plan to quit smoking or to quit smoking on the day of the event – the third Thursday in November each year. By quitting – even for one day – smokers will be taking an important step toward a healthier life and reducing their cancer risk.

The American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout® takes place on the third Thursday in November.