Now that is an excellent question! What else can you do? You can use your power! Use it to kick the Tobacco Industry’s butts out of your school and community. Here are some specific suggestions to get you going:
Start with your school. Does it have an adequate smoking policy, one that prohibits everyone (including teachers, staff, and visitors) from smoking on all school property and at all school sponsored events? Together with other students, you could propose that a comprehensive smoking policy be put to a school vote—a great way to raise awareness.
Utilize the power of the pen (or keyboard). Write to your school or local newspaper and share your opinion. Write letters to movie producers and magazine editors to protest tobacco advertising, to sports figures and celebrities to ask them not to endorse tobacco products, and to owners of restaurants, bowling alleys, and other places you go to advocate for smoke-free policies. While you’re at it, write a letter to an elected official. You would be surprised how influential these letters can be.
Fine tune your critical thinking skills. Keep up to date on the issues. Critically look at tobacco advertising, pay attention to the use of tobacco in the movies and on television, make note of how tobacco is being promoted in your community.
Work with other groups. Find out who is working on tobacco in your area and link up. Call or email the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation, your local or state Health Department, and the nearest chapters of the American Lung Association, American Cancer Society, and American Heart Association.
Form your own group. With just two or three others—and a clear objective—you can start a group of your own. Focus on a specific, accomplishable goal. Working to change a policy at your school or in your community can have far-reaching consequences. Whether you want to work for smokefree restaurants, a ban on tobacco billboards, the elimination of cigarette vending machines or self-service displays, or some other goal, the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation can assist you. Feel free to contact us.