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White Plains Protests Teen-Targeted Tobacco Ads

Smaller, blander and more discrete tobacco advertisements would please Nivna Chevalier, a White Plains High School senior.

Chevalier joined 15 others in protesting tobacco marketing aimed at teens on the steps of the White Plains City Hall Tuesday.

“There are a lot of advertisements everywhere, big signs that are colorful and make [smoking] look cool when it’s not,” said Chevalier, 17. “I don’t agree with it. It’s important to know that not just adults think this it's an issue. [We] children think it’s an issue too.”

Chevalier and a group from the White Plains Youth Bureau wrote “I’ve seen Enough!” on their palms and flung their hands across their eyes to show they were fed up with shops using flashy signs to sell tobacco products to teens on this year’s World No Tobacco Day . Five local anti-tobacco organizations partnered with Hudson Valley youth to broadcast their message at City Hall Tuesday.

Diane Moore, an organizer with Reality Check of Putnam County, said research supports Chevalier’s concerns.

“The power wall, which is a marketing space typically right behind the register, is just a whole wall that helps get tobacco in the psyche of children,” said Moore. “In-store marketing is a primary source of youth smoking and we’re here to say, ‘We’ve seen enough.’”

Schools across the Hudson Valley had students cover their eyes Tuesday in solidarity with World No Tobacco Day protests. Local anti-tobacco activists also urged teens to participate in an “I’ve Seen Enough!” Facebook event and online petition seeking to protect children from tobacco marketing.

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