Reality Check programs of Western New York are getting creative to honor this year’s Great American Smokeout. As communities continue to grapple with the challenges of COVID-19, the youth coordinators in the GOW Region decided the safest (and fun) way to help young people demonstrate their leadership is through an art contest.
The deadline to submit entries is Nov. 13. Winners will be announced on Nov. 19, the date of this year’s Great American Smokeout.
“We miss doing group events like cigarette butt pickups, educational events, and watching our young people champion issues they believe in,” said Brittany Bozzer, GOW Reality Check coordinator. “This art contest will build awareness on the impacts of tobacco use and help ensure that youth voices are a part of the solution for healthier communities.”
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 – Thursday, Nov. 19. By quitting – even for one day – smokers will be taking an important step toward a healthier life and reducing their cancer risk.
Creative Western New Yorkers between the ages of 12 and 18 are encouraged to virtually submit a piece of artwork that highlights the dangers of tobacco use or why they want their community to be tobacco free. Artwork can be a poster, poem, comic, photo or video. Winners will be chosen in two age groups: 12-14 years old and 15-18 years old.
Youth are asked to submit their masterpiece, along with their name, age, school name, phone number and guardian’s name, to: [email protected]
About Reality Check
Reality Check is a youth-led movement in New York State that empowers youth to become leaders in their communities in exposing what they see as the manipulative and deceptive marketing tactics of the tobacco industry. The organization’s members create change in their communities through grassroots mobilization and education.
Reality Check groups work in their communities by trying to limit the exposure of tobacco marketing in stores, help make smoke/vape-free public, work, and housing spaces, and limiting the exposure to smoking/vaping in movies.
These initiatives are to help discourage young people from becoming new daily smokers and encourage current smokers to quit. More information can be found at realitycheckofny.com and tobaccofreenys.com