Reality Check | Student Engagement
Reality Check, our student engagement and youth action component, is a student led, adult supported, statewide program for youth between the ages of 13 through 18 to address tobacco control initiatives. Students who join NYC Smoke-Free's Reality Check program participate and lead activities and events to help expose the tobacco industry and reduce the number of teens that initiate smoking.
Currently, over 15,000 of NYC public high school students smoke and as a result, one-third of them will die prematurely. NYC Smoke-Free remains committed to ensuring that the next generation is smoke-free, by continuously engaging in ongoing efforts to build and maintain a youth infrastructure that encourages community and civic engagement and peer leadership.
Although NYC has achieved many great successes in tobacco control over the years, one of the challenges that we face is keeping up the the to tobacco industry's ever morphing predatory practices to get young people to smoke. Practices which effectively target and turn young people into "replacement smokers" for the 12,000 New York City residents who die from smoking-related causes each year. NYC Smoke-Free works with students on several tobacco control initiatives which aim to (1) reduce and end the proliferation of tobacco retail, (2) eliminate tobacco imagery in youth rated movies and youth focused internet sites, and (3) increasing both indoor and outdoor smoke-free spaces to eliminate harmful exposure to secondhand smoke.
With NYC Smoke-Free Reality Check, students will…
- Develop leadership skills with opportunities to work with peers across the state
- Become stronger public speakers
- Build confidence and enhance teamwork skills while meeting new friends
- Engage legislators on issues that affect youth across the country
- Find a safe place to explore interests and utilize talents to advocate for a cause
- Discover a world full of fun experiences and new activities
- Fulfill service requirements to attract perspective colleges/universities
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