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Activity 13: Does Big Tobacco Make the Grade??

Big Tobacco spends $12.8 BILLION a year on advertising their deadly products.These ads are often placed on the front doors or windows of convenience stores, where many young people go each day. This isn't a coincidence, tobacco companies actively target youth, often using colorful ads at the eye level of small children. Students get report cards based on school work, so now we're going to give tobacco companies report cards on their performance!

  • Points earned: 300
  • Chapter member needed: 6+
  • Prep time: 3
  • Supplies needed: Paper/poster board, markers, calculators, The 84 Promo Cards

Doing the activity

STEP 1 – Plan and decide: How many and which stores do you want to survey? Decide who will visit which store and when. Make sure you print plenty of report cards to fill out.

STEP 2 – Observe: Before you go inside, look around and check out the ads outside. When you go in, say “hi” to the person behind the register and explain what you are doing and why. You can say something like, “Hi, I’m a youth leader from [school/organization] and we’re learning about tobacco advertising to help make the community healthier.” If you want, you can give them an 84 Promo Card. It always helps to have more people on your side. Then, check out the inside of the store for ads.

STEP 3 – Share your concerns: Compile your reports and present your findings to decision makers, media, and your school or community organization. If a retailer in your community scored well, recognize them for their positive impact on the community! But remember, even if a retailer did not score well, this is because of Big Tobacco and the retailer should not be blamed.

STEP 4 – Report back: Post pictures and a description of your activity on your Chapter page to get points and attention!