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Building a wall against tobacco to smoke out targeted advertising

GASO Power-Wall at SCSEvery year, on the third Thursday of November, the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smoke Out challenges people to stop using tobacco and provides an opportunity to advocate for tobacco control initiatives.

From Nov. 14-18, Advancing Tobacco-Free Communities in Delaware, Otsego and Schoharie Counties (ATFC-DOS) worked collaboratively with Schoharie Central School District on a Great American Smoke Out (GASO) project. The project highlighted the Seen Enough Tobacco statewide advertising campaign.

Seen Enough Tobacco paper emojis were provided to homerooms in grades 7-12, and each student choosing to participate in supporting the tobacco-free message was asked to write his or her name on an emoji. Students were also encouraged to collect signed emojis from other students and from family, staff and faculty members.

SCS students collected 738 signed paper emojis. Jennifer Bellin’s homeroom collected the most emojis, at 121 and earned a pizza party and "We've Seen Enough" t-shirts.

Schoharie Town Supervisor Chris Tague talks to students about his quitting smoking on GQASO 2013

Schoharie Town Supervisor Chris Tague stopped by to commend the students' efforts and to share his personal story about quitting smoking cold turkey on GASO in November 2013. Tague related that he started smoking at age 13, the average age of a new smoker in New York state. As a former three-pack-a-day smoker, he urged the students to avoid all tobacco use whether it be the traditional cigarette, chew or vape.

GASO Power-Wall at SCS

Six students helped assemble a power wall posted with all the collected emojis outside of the high school gym communicating that "We’ve Seen Enough Tobacco" to students, staff and visitors.

The power wall will remain up throughout the basketball season to combat the large, visually appealing displays of tobacco products that are prevalent in area stores and intended to attract the interest of both youth and adult customers.

In 2012, the U.S. Surgeon General concluded that tobacco industry marketing causes youth smoking. Stores popular among adolescents contain almost three times more tobacco marketing materials compared to other stores in the same community.

According to program coordinator Linda E. Wegner, Advancing Tobacco-Free Communities in Delaware, Otsego and Schoharie Counties (ATFC-DOS) works to build healthier communities where people live, learn, work and play. ATFC-DOS is funded by a grant from the New York State Bureau of Tobacco Control to the Research Foundation of SUNY at SUNY Cobleskill. ATFC-DOS works on a variety of initiatives to change the community environment to support New York State’s tobacco-free norm.

GASO Power-Wall at SCS


Special thanks to Linda Wegner for her work on this article and the campaign.




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