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What is Reality Check?

Reality Check is a youth-led movement against big tobacco companies and their manipulative marketing that appeals to the younger generations.

Reality Check youth, ages 13-18, engage communities to change norms about tobacco and strengthen tobacco-related policies that prevent and reduce tobacco use.

Efforts focus on reducing youth exposure to harmful tobacco marketing in retail settings, limiting exposure to secondhand smoke, and reducing smoking imagery through the media.


Reality Check Youth have a unique opportunity to gather with teens across the state each year to share with officials their experiences and concerns about Big tobacco. This Legislative Day, youth utilized life sized props to illustrate tobacco marketing within the community to help educate their locally elected officials; their message: the toll of tobacco harms everyone costing communities around the state nearly $10.4 billion dollars in annual health care costs annually. On this day Reality Check youth and community members, raised a collective voice to say, “We have seen enough tobacco”.

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Our Goals

We aim to expose the manipulative and deceptive marketing tactics of the tobacco industry by producing a change in our communities through grassroots mobilization, and education. Empowering youth across NYS will help them see that they are more than just replacement smokers for the tobacco industry. They can become leaders in their communities.

Youth Benefits:

  • Positive Youth Development

  • Community Organizing

  • Leadership skills: public speaking & community service

  • Media development

  • Travel across NYS for regional and statewide Reality Check events.

  • Create a network of peers across NYS

  • Speak to local and state elected effected officials  

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