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Local News

March 20, 2013

Anti-smoking campaign coming to area schools

Area anti-smoking advocates have planned activities to focus attention on tobacco marketing that causes youth smoking. The efforts are scheduled to take place on or around national Kick Butts Day — March 20 — two organizers said Tuesday.

Started by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, it’s a national day for activism that empowers youth, according to a media release from the Chenango Health Network. There will be more than 1,000 events held worldwide.

Tobacco Free Chenango, administered by the Chenango Network, is conducting a series of events during the week. A snowstorm Tuesday caused some of the activities to be scheduled at a later time. The focus of the events is educating teens about the problem of tobacco marketing in retails stores, and showing teens ways that their peers around the country and worldwide have become involved in against the manipulative marketing strategies of Big Tobacco, according to the release.

Events today will be held at Norwich City School District and Greene middle and high schools. Events will also take place Friday at Unadilla Valley Central School. Activities at Oxford Central School scheduled for Tuesday will take place at a later time, Tobacco Free coordinator James Mutabiilwa said.

By getting kids involved, it will help spread the message about the dangers of tobacco, he said.

“Smoking is still a big problem,” Norwich freshman Caridad Marillo said in the release. “Kids think smoking is OK since the stores we go to all the time are filled with tobacco products and ads, but we want to change that.”

Reality Check of Delaware, Otsego and Schoharie Counties rescheduled a project set for today until March 27 because of the weather.

Program director Alison Bruce said student participants at Delaware Academy in Delhi will be doing store observations in Delaware County to document what advertising and tobacco displays people see at selected stores. They will return to the school to put together a poster to show legislators their findings, she said.

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