How has commercial tobacco impacted your life?
Superior High School's advisory team addresses how the commercial tobacco industry's targets teenagers
SUPERIOR — On March 28, Superior High School students were advised to answer an essential question: How has commercial tobacco impacted your life? They were also presented with a video provided by Social Worker Jane Larson and the National Lung Association, “Targeted Marketing of Big Tobacco.” According to the advisory team, about 900 students turned in notecards answering the question.
“I'm part of the advisory team, so we get together to talk about what needs to happen during the advisory lessons each week,” Larson said.
Monday advisory time is usually focused on completing Xello lessons and senior projects, while Tuesdays are devoted to social, emotional learning and mental health.
“I was talking with a colleague of mine. She and I have worked together for 20 years, and she works with the American Lung Association and she said ‘I don't think many people realize kids are being targeted, do the students realize they’re the target?’” Larson stated.
People who start using tobacco earlier are more likely to develop an addiction, and kids who use nicotine products are more likely to go on to smoke cigarettes.
“It’s been around a long time, but the tactics haven't changed much, so we started talking about something we could do to bring awareness to that — do people understand really that there's a big push to target young people? Because if they can get young people started they have customers for life,” Larson stated.
As explained by the advisory team, the goal of the notecards was to take a moment and think about “Am I impacted by commercial tobacco?” Whether it's at home, school or in the community. The advisory team wanted to put something out that provided some new information or way to think about things differently without shaming, blaming or judging people.
The notecards are to be hung up for a short period of time in the Performing Arts Center near the bulletin board.
Sophia Backlin and Morgan West are juniors at Superior High School and members of the Spartan Spin.
This poem is part of the Telegram's efforts to showcase the work of young people in the community. For more information on those efforts, contact reporter Maria Lockwood at firstname.lastname@example.org.