BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Around 1,200 people die every day because of tobacco use. The Great American Smokeout encourages smokers to quit and young people are urged not to start.
Tobacco companies try to replace the people they kill with youngsters who will be lifelong customers. They spend a million dollars a day in New York State on marketing that's mostly aimed at youth. Kids who know the score are mad.
11th grader Nyasia Green said, "What made us actually upset was the fact that the tobacco industry is targeting youth to smoke their products."
Michelle Heller of the Erie County Reality Check Program said, "They saw the tobacco ads walking to stores, walking into the convenience store, and they realized that there was a power wall behind every counter that they saw."
Chris Banks was inspired by a tobacco company executive.
"When asked in an interview, do they smoke their own products, his answer was, 'We don't smoke that sh**, we just sell it. We reserve the right to smoke for the young, the poor, the black and the stupid,'" Banks recalled.
He and his friends reacted very appropriately. They produced a video, with support from the Urban League, Reality Check, the American Cancer Society and the Erie-Niagara Tobacco Free Coalition. It featured a youngster being stalked by big tobacco.
Kids really need to be tough to escape tobacco.
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