Empower youth to lead in the battle against tobacco

Reality Check is a youth-led movement in New York State that empowers young people to become community leaders. Supported by adults, the initiative exposes the manipulative and deceptive marketing tactics of the tobacco industry.

Exposing Tobacco Industry Influence in Media

Reality Check aims to expose how the tobacco industry normalizes and glamorizes tobacco use through media. With teens consuming nearly 11 hours of unregulated media daily, the industry leverages this access to influence young audiences.

Exposing Tobacco Marketing Tactics

Reality Check exposes the tobacco industry’s tactics to normalize tobacco use in New York communities. By making products sweet, cheap, and easily accessible, they aim to recruit new young smokers and retain current ones. With over half a million dollars spent daily in New York on marketing, primarily through colorful in-store advertising, the industry targets youth effectively.

Advocating for Tobacco-Free Spaces

Reality Check educates communities on the benefits of tobacco-free and smoke-free spaces, highlighting the hazards of tobacco litter and secondhand smoke. Youth leaders raise awareness and encourage action, contributing to over 500 municipalities in New York State establishing tobacco-free outdoor recreation areas.

Uniting Against Tobacco Industry Lies

Reality Check youth leaders collaborate nationwide to expose the truth about the commercial tobacco industry’s practices. They help organize and participate in national events, particularly those related to tobacco industry shareholders meetings.

You have questions, we have answers.

What do Reality Check members do?

Reality Check works to make change. We educate and engage our communities to raise awareness about the negative impact of tobacco. We educate our key decision makers on how tobacco is marketed, and the impact that it has in our communities. Reality Check members are actively involved in public speaking, collecting data, and speaking with members of the news media.

Is Reality Check open to anyone?

Anyone 13 – 18 years in New York State is able to join Reality Check. There is a Reality Check program in every county in New York State. There are groups in schools and community centers. You can also be an individual member even if you are the only person from your school.

How can I get involved in Reality Check?

There are a few ways to become involved in Reality Check. If you know your school has a Reality Check group, listen to the announcements and attend their next meeting. If you are unsure if your school has Reality Check, you can contact us and a program coordinator from your area will contact you.

Can I still be involved if my school doesn’t have a club?

Yes. Many areas across the state have Reality Check groups at community centers and libraries. Just complete the online registration form and a program coordinator will contact you and will let you know of upcoming meetings or events. If other students at your school are also interested in forming a group, they may be able to help establish one.

What if I smoke, vape, or us other tobacco products?

Reality Check fights the tobacco industry, not users. We know that nicotine products in all forms (smoking, vaping, e-cigarettes, and chew) is addictive and we understand. Your voice is important to us.