Local students teaming up with Tobacco-Free Community Partnership
Wednesday, March 9, 2011 - 6:25 am

CANTON -- About 15 local students in grades 7 to 11 recently discussed the devastating implications of second-hand smoke on all members of society. Their primary goal is to increase the number of tobacco free parks, beaches, and playgrounds.

According to the St. Lawrence County Youth Bureau and Tobacco-Free Community Partnership, tobacco use -- the leading cause of preventable deaths in the United States -- is among the many reasons that these students have chosen to become socially and politically active in affecting public policy. Among numerous other negative impacts, students were particularly concerned of the “role model effect” that occurs when youth members witness adults using tobacco. Additionally, litter from cigarette butts, specifically on and around beaches, has a negative impact on everyone who utilizes public facilities.

The Youth Bureau and Tobacco-Free Community Partnership have teamed up to assist the students in organizing and developing their message to educate local politicians about the benefits of discouraging the use of tobacco on public property.

Recently, the youth advocates launched a Facebook group supporting the cause, which has already grown to over 180 members.

Clarkson University Student Matthew Flynn II is assisting the students in developing an effective public relations campaign.

When asked about the initiative, Flynn said “I am truly excited to see the passion that these students share for the cause, I’m sure they will be successful.”