PLATTSBURGH — Savanna-Lin Boadway and Kali Bushey have both become stalwart spokespersons for the push to stop advertising gimmicks that promote youth smoking.
As members of Reality Check, a grassroots effort by teenagers across the state to put pressure on the tobacco industry and its advertising practices, the two Plattsburgh teens recognize a need to enlist the community’s support for their endeavor.
“It’s a never-ending cycle,” Bushey, a sophomore at Plattsburgh High School, said of the addiction caused by smoking and the connection she feels the tobacco industry has in promoting that addiction. “They just want more money.”
The Adirondack Tobacco Free Network and Reality Check are hosting a presentation of the documentary film “Addiction Incorporated” at Cumberland 12 Theater on Route 9 north of Plattsburgh from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 19.
The film, directed by Charles Evans Jr., examines the role of Victor DeNoble, a scientist who worked for Philip Morris, and his efforts in the 1990s to unmask deception used by the tobacco industry to prevent public knowledge of how truly addicting tobacco can be.
The subsequent Congressional hearings DeNoble ignited led to lawsuits that ended with the tobacco industry’s settlement of billions of dollars paid to states to recoup some of the money they used to treat addicted and ill smokers.
“It’s a very compelling film,” said Christa VanCour, senior public-health educator for the Clinton County Health Department. “I was in high school when all of this was going on, so it’s incredibly important that this is still an issue, that we still have to protect kids from the tobacco industry 12, 13 years later.”
Reality Check, which was first formed in 2000, was actually created from money the state gained in the tobacco industry’s settlement.
Teens like Boadway and Bushey have actively worked to promote smoke-free communities, reduce advertising aimed at a young audience and decrease the efforts to promote smoking in Hollywood films.