07 | 16 | 2016

Bronx Teens Attend Statewide Tobacco Control Youth Summit and Take Action to Create Change in Their Communities


Vonetta Dudley
Phone: (646) 342-6923
Email: vdudley@healthsolutions.org

Cazenovia, NY -  Members of the New York State youth movement, Reality Check, recently came together at Cazenovia College for the annual Youth Summit. This year the Youth Summit was an opportunity for youth to develop and use the personal skills and talents they possess to help shape the statewide movement toward a tobacco-free generation.  

The theme for the summit was “iAM Building a Tobacco-Free Generation.” Group activities and workshops prepared youth advocates to stand up to the tobacco industry and play a major role in creating change in their local communities by educating elected officials and working with key community leaders to combat tobacco proliferation and marketing in their neighborhoods.

Teens at the Youth Summit took part in group activities helping them creatively plan community events throughout 2017.   “In New York State, 7.3% and in the Bronx 7% of high school students still smoke while the average age of a new smoker is 13. We still have a lot of work to do. After coming to Youth Summit, I know we have the power to make our vision of a tobacco-free generation a reality,” said Yoseiris Brito, a Bronx Reality Check student leader with NYC Smoke-Free at Public Health Solutions.

“It’s incredible to see our teens come together and take a stand against Big Tobacco and their deadly products.” said Vonetta Dudley, Bronx student engagement coordinator for NYC Smoke-Free. “Our students are finding new ways to create change not only or themselves but for their peers and communities.”

The Youth Summit featured presentations from keynote speaker Shaun Derik.  “After seeing so many young people at this conference on fire in the fight against Big Tobacco,” said Derik, “I'm inspired, more than ever, to continue to my work in effective youth development.”

For more information on NYC Smoke-Free or to lend support in ending NYC’s devastating tobacco epidemic, please visit www.NYCSmokeFree.org  or follow us on social media at facebook.com/NYCSmokeFree or Twitter @NYCSmokeFree.

Follow the work of Reality Check and learn about future tobacco control events at www.RealityCheckofNY.com and on social media @RealityCheckofNY.


Reality Check - a student led, adult supported program for those between the ages of 13 through 18. The statewide program is composed of multiple student run chapters’ across New York State. Each chapter works to expose the deceptive marketing tactics of the tobacco industry through education, advocacy outreach and media campaigns.

NYC Smoke-Free - a program of Public Health Solutions, NYC Smoke-Free works to protect the health of New Yorkers through tobacco control policy, advocacy, and education. Formerly the NYC Coalition for a Smoke-Free City, we partner with community members, legislators, and health advocates to support local efforts to end the devastating tobacco epidemic throughout NYC. We believe every New Yorker has the right to breathe clean, smoke-free air where they live, work and play.

Public Health Solutions - As one of the largest public health service nonprofit organizations in New York City, Public Health Solutions improves health among the city’s most vulnerable populations by tackling social, physical, and environmental factors that impact New Yorkers’ ability to thrive. Today PHS serves 200,000+ New Yorkers annually, and we support the work of more than 600 community-based nonprofit organizations. We implement innovative, cost-effective population-based health programs; conduct research providing insight on effective public health interventions; and provide services to government and other nonprofits to address public health issues. Together with our colleagues in the service sector, government, philanthropy and policy organizations, we are thought leaders and cutting-edge public health professionals in New York City and New York State. To learn more, please visit us at www.healthsolutions.org.

Shaun Derik is a Speaker and Performing Artist.  For over 10 years, Shaun Derik has dedicated his life to helping people, young and old, reconnect with their passion and go after their dreams. For more information, visit www.ShaunDerik.com.