March 6, 2002
to Uncool youth smoking
Conrad Martin and
revolution is afoot, a revolution to fight disastrous harm done to
young people by cigarette manufacturers who put financial profit ahead
of the health and well-being of the world's youth.
Young people cannot be expected to fight this battle alone. Instead,
adults must lead the way, forming an international grass roots coalition,
which will assist and guide youth in the effort to protect their right
to health and freedom from disease. The system enables and encourages
young people to smoke must be exposed and completely overhauled.
Present society has a false sense of responsibility with regard to
this extremely important issue. The belief that existing organizations
and government agencies are effectively addressing the problem of
youth smoking is a myth.
And yet, modern technology and knowledge have taken away all excuses
inaction- we know that smoking has terrible consequences for human
health, and we have the means of spreading our message and acting
to fight the problem. For example, the Internet can be used to foster
a community of concerned adults and youth who will lead the way toward
a smoke-free future.
Many concrete initiatives can be taken to attack the problem of youth
smoking. Potential measures include:
-Requiring adult identification cards to purchase cigarettes, combined
with the use of modern computer technology to number and register
every package of cigarettes sold. With these measures in place, a
surcharge could be added to the price of cigarettes, to be refunded
when the empty box is returned by the correct adult cardholder. This
would strongly discourage adults from buying cigarettes for youth.
-Introducing strong new laws allowing youth to register liens against
individuals, companies or organizations which have illegally supplied
cigarettes.-Widely promoting the idea that it is a shame to supply
cigarettes to youth and publicly exposing those who do so.
-Requiring funeral homes to display cause of death certificates for
those who have been killed by smoking or smoking-related illnesses.
-Instituting a "three strikes, you're out" rule for merchants
who are caught supplying cigarettes to youth, after which they would
not be eligible to sell cigarettes.
-Supplying informed and aggressive editorial content that can be freely
copied and reproduced by any media or agency willing to assist in
the cause of uncooling youth smoking.
-Encouraging schools, churches, businesses, clubs, teams and other
social organizations to form partnerships to uncool youth smoking
and spread the message, "Teens, Get Out! Grab Life Smoke Free!"
-Promoting the deposit of youth allowances by parents and families
into the "Get Out! Grab Life!" web site accounts, which
will be organized and administered in collaboration with participating
banks. This will repeatedly expose youth to the site's anti-smoking,
pro-activity messages and organizations, with all site earnings to
be controlled by a Board of Trustees and used to advance the cause
of Uncooling youth smoking.
-Marketing youth fashions and goods such as school supplies, CDs,
etc., with the site's logos to raise anti-smoking awareness and help
produce the funds needed to run the organization.
-Licensing companies to use the "Get Out! Grab Life Smoke Free!"
identity to spread anti-smoking, pro-healthy living messages to youth.
-Issuing tax credits to companies and individuals for advertising
bought and displayed as part of the crusade to uncool youth smoking.
Measures such as those outlined above will make adults responsible
for the sale and purchase of cigarettes, thus creating barriers to
the independent use of cigarettes by youth. These measures will also
help to create a radical new awareness, so that the effort to uncool
youth smoking matches the energy and money employed by cigarette companies
to seduce youth into using their deadly products and becoming victims
of irreparable harm.
us lead the way! The future of our youth is at stake!