As part of our group, Students Against Destructive Decisions at Clarke Middle School, we have been participating in a scavenger hunt around our community observing smoking messages. We found 28 messages for seven different brands. The following brands were being promoted: Camel, Kool, Marlboro, Misty, Newport, Virginia Slims and Winston. These brands were advertised in the following manner: four billboards, one bus, two lighters, four posters, one jacket, nine magazines/newspapers, one radio, one shirt, one suitcase, one movie, two television shows (on older reruns) and one gas station.
We think it is terrible that kids see all these advertisements and start smoking. Even the candy cigarettes promote kids to smoke. Even though we don't smoke, we can still be harmed from second-hand smoke. We can die early because other people are smoking and we breathe in the poisonous gases.
April 14 has been declared "Kick Butts Day," sponsored by the Campaign For Tobacco-Free Kids. The "Kick Butts Day Proclamation" states:
* Whereas, teen smoking is on the rise and smoking among high school seniors is at a 19-year high, and,
* Whereas, 4.5 million kids aged 12-17 are current smokers and more than 3,000 additional kids become regular smokers each day, and,
* Whereas, the Centers for Disease Control predicts more than 5 million children under age 18 alive today will die prematurely from smoking-related diseases unless current trends are reversed, and,
* Whereas, smoking-related illnesses already kill roughly 400,000 Americans each year, representing more deaths than from AIDS, alcohol, car accidents, murders, suicides, drugs and fires combined, and,
* Whereas, most of these deaths could have been prevented, and
* Whereas, the children of Westbury, East Meadow and Levittown will no longer tolerate the tobacco industry's efforts to manipulate them into buying lethal and addictive products through insidious advertising campaigns.
We would like you to stop advertising altogether but we understand that a lot of people would lose their jobs. We ask you to please stop advertising in a way that kids are drawn into it. Your advertisements with pictures make kids think smoking is cool, sexy or fun. Please take down those advertisements.