Monday, February 26, 2007


Activists Coming to Inform Our Neighborhoods (A.C.T.I.O.N.) is a 17-month-old community leadership workshop, launched in collaboration with Casita Maria, in which ten stipended teenagers craft and implement a variety of initiatives geared at enacting social change in the Hunts Point area. So far, A.C.T.I.O.N. teen leaders have launched the following initiatives:

• The Odor Journal: helping residents report pollution
• Outreach project to address prostitution in the Hunts Point area
• Research on youth and community topics for monthly cable television presentations on BronxNet
• Creation of a weekly teen news and entertainment show on BronxNet
• Participation in the National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit
• Research and dissemination of information to residents on proposals by businesses and city agencies that will affect Hunts Point


Contact: Adam Liebowitz
Program Director of A.C.T.I.ON Teen Program at The Point CDC

940 Garrison Avenue
Bronx, NY 10474

718-542-4139, Ext.28
718-542-4988 Fax

“A.C.T.I.O.N. (Activists Coming To Inform Our Neighborhood) at The Point C.D.C. In Conjunction With The American Lung Association Working To Educate Youth On The Effects Of Tobacco Use, To Prevent Future Smokers And To Decrease The Amount Of Tobacco Marketing In The Hunts Point Community” ________________________________________________________________________
March 15, 2006 (Bronx, NY) - A.C.T.I.O.N. has partnered with The American Lung Association in order to fight against the tobacco companies that plague our communities with their constant advertising aimed at our youth. Tobacco is very big in this community and it is becoming more and more common to see young people smoking cigarettes. The addition of candy-flavored cigarettes makes it more apparent that the tobacco companies are targeting youth.

The anti-tobacco campaign includes giving educational and informative workshops, lobbying city and state government officials, educating and working together with community partners, and providing a media anti-tobacco marketing campaign. ACTION has begun Phase 1 of their plan, by confirming community support from local organizations and businesses. ACTION has already confirmed community partners such as The Point Community Development Corporation After-School Program, Mothers on The Move, Community Board #2 Youth Council, and the Bronx Charter School For The Arts in addition to various other Bronx community partners.

ACTION has conducted surveys in the Hunts Point area of the South Bronx. This documentation is the first survey of its kind ever conducted or recorded in the Hunts Point section of the South Bronx. Our survey statistics have indicated such percentages as 86% of Hunts Point residents surveyed smoke menthol cigarettes, 90% of Hunts Point businesses surveyed sell menthol cigarettes, 90% of females surveyed under the age of 18 in Hunts Point smoke Newports and 100% of men surveyed under the age of 18 in Hunts Point smoke Newports.

Several members of ACTION gave their thoughts working on this campaign:
" Its a great opportunity to get our voices heard" said Tymeisha Massey, 17. Antwon Montgomery, 19 explained, " We can start small and expand our horizons to make this a nation-wide campaign". " It’s important for us, as youth to educate other youth in our community about tobacco use", claimed Tatianna Echevarria, 14. " We want to make people understand that you will not get the hot girl on the ads if you start to smoke", claimed John Orellana, 18.

We want to make our community a better place to live and grow up in. Many youth inhabit the Hunts Point community and are easily influenced by all the tobacco marketing they see around them as well as the people who are already smokers. We wish to stop the targeting of our youth in hopes to prevent them from becoming future smokers and from becoming just another statistic.

For our anti-tobacco campaign, A.C.T.I.O.N. worked with the American Lung Association to survey both stores which sell and market tobacco products and individuals in the Hunts Point community of the South Bronx.
We found…

Out of all the stores surveyed 19% sold either candy flavored cigarettes and or cigars.
Brands most prominently featured are Newport, Marlboro, Camels, and Kool.As far as promotions are concerned Newport is the leading brand advertised.
Proportion of stores selling,
Marlboro- 90%
Kool- 48%
Camel- 24%

Surveying individuals in the Hunts Point neighborhood about personal tobacco use showed percentages of smokers as,
Underage women smokers- 28%Underage men smokers-71%Adult women smokers- 50%
Adult male smokers- 63%
These findings elucidate numerous findings and provoke questions which must be considered as we pursue our goal of passing legislation to ban candy flavored cigarettes.

Considering the prevalence of Newport cigarettes in the South Bronx, the community may be particularly susceptible to the temptation of candy-flavored cigarettes.
Minority males under the age of 18 have the highest rate of smoking. It is crucial to monitor the marketing techniques that the industry develops as a reaction to the prevalence of smoking among this population.
Help us ban the sales of candy-flavored cigarettes and stop the discriminatory marketing of cigarettes to minority communities.

Join us in calling for the BANNING of
Candy-Flavored Cigarettes

The problem: the tobacco industry is trying to target our youth, particularly minority populations, to increase cigarette sales. Sparing no one, tobacco companies employ various marketing strategies to appeal to different populations. As a result of attractive ad campaigns, the abundance of locations where one may purchase cigarettes and the loose enforcement of anti-tobacco policies, countless underage youth begin smoking every year. The tobacco industry has recently begun to market candy-flavored cigarettes. Because of tempting flavors and eye-catching marketing techniques, candy flavored cigarettes will appeal to a larger numbers of under aged smokers in the New York City area. A.C.T.I.O.N. at the point CDC, in conjunction with the American lung association, is developing an anti-tobacco marketing campaign.Our Goal: to educate youth on the effects of tobacco use as to prevent more young smokers from being influenced by flashy marketing campaigns. Further, we hope to address the discriminatory marketing that the tobacco industry directs towards communities of color. We want to begin by proposing legislation which would ban the sales of candy-flavored cigarettes in New York City.

Means of achieving this goal

Working together with community partners to expand our reach and to make our campaign stronger. Leading educational and informative workshops to educate the community. Lobbying city and state government officials with the hopes of implementing legislation that supports our goals. Researching previous campaigns to find out what has been done, what is being done and what needs to be done.
Prepare visuals that help us to communicate our message and our goals to others.
Join us in our campaign to curb the power of the tobacco industry!

CONGRAGULATIONS TO FIORDALIZA BEATO, 18 who had a %100 acceptance rate on
her college applications. She was accepted to: Herkimer Community College, Sullivan Community College, CUNY City College, Cortlandt College and still waiting to hear from the others! Wish her luck. CONGRAGULATIONS TO THE FOLLOWING ACTION PARTICIPANTS!


Thais Marte, 18-Chica Luna Production Company
Tymeisha Massey, 17- U.S. House of Representatives Summer Page Internship, Washington D.C.
Amanda Septimo, 15 –Summer Search Participant, Summer Volunteer Opportunity in Africa
Rene Brown, 15-Summer Search Participant, Oceanography Boating Summer in Maine
Kim Quinones, 15-Summer Search Participant, Rock climbing Summer in Maine
John Orellana, 19- ACTION Program Assistant Residence In Training, THE POINT CDC
Camille Gonzalez, 16- Internship with U.S. Congressman Jose Serrano
Joaquim Rogers, 15- Human Rights Initiative Summer Institute
Renard Correa, Jr., 16- Eyebeam Summer Internship
Dain Drummond, 19-Yankee Stadium Special Events Staff