Hi, My name is Tessa and will be telling you about my experience with Take Down Tobacco Day. First a little bit about me. I am a ninth grader at Marlow High School. This is my first year in YAHL and I love it. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested. YAHL is Youth Action for Health Leadership. It is teens working towards getting a healthier Oklahoma. CounterAct Tobacco is working to move the power out of big tobacco’s hands and into Oklahomans through comprehensive tobacco retail licensing. March 31st is Take Down Tobacco Day. It is a National Day of Action. Young people all over Oklahoma and the U.S. call out big tobacco for advertising to teens. The youth stand up and speak out against the tobacco industry. Next will be what I experienced during Take Down Tobacco Day.
At most of the events we set up at a table with surveys, games, and prizes, all for free. We work to educate visitors, teachers, and peers about how we can counteract tobacco. We held the event at my school during lunch.You would take a short anonymous survey, then you could play the game by throwing the bean bags at the cans. How many you knocked down would decide the prize you could get. All of my friends had lots of fun seeing who could knock down the most. I would say we interacted with about 20 people. In other words, 20 more people have been educated about Take Down Tobacco Day and YAHL in general. I think doing these events really make a difference by giving young people the information to make smart choices and stand up for what is right.
It makes me really happy to be able to educate people about CounterAct Tobacco. When you educate people about what is really happening, it helps more people take a stand against big tobacco. The more events, the more people will work together to get a healthier Oklahoma. I hope to make a difference by encouraging youth to stand up for what they believe in. It is very important that other youth become passionate about tobacco licensing because the youth now are our future, our future activists. It is important to take part in National Days of Action because it shows the tobacco industry that we know this is wrong and we will not stop until it is changed. YAHL helps me stand up for what I believe in and I hope this encourages others to do the same, to get out and get involved.
By Tessa, YAHL Member at Marlow High School