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Youth Advocates Work to make Johnson City a Healthier Community

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JOHNSON CITY, N.Y. -

Local youth, part of the Reality Check Program met up with Johnson City Mayor, Greg Deemie on Friday to show him just how many tobacco influences there are on the streets of JC.

Several members of the youth program took notes at the convenience stores, collecting marketing information on their tobacco products.

“There’s a lot of tobacco advertising in the stores that people don’t realize and it's more focused on children and youths height and their eye level," said Youth Advocate, Jacob Brady.

According to a recent study done by Broome County Health Department, over 10% of high school seniors in Broome are cigarette smokers. Officials are growing more concerned with the increased marketing of tobacco products. 

“How much there really is out there, how it's placed, and how it's targeting the younger generation," said Johnson City Mayor, Greg Deemie. 

A lot of cigarette promotions are being placed next to candy bars, or in areas where kids are more prone to look. Data collected by area health officials shows 83% of tobacco retailers are within 1500 feet of JC parks, with nearly 900 ads in the village alone.

“So that we can eliminate as much of the tobacco marketing as we can to protect the youth in our community from becoming new smokers," said Brady.

In response, these teens are doing what they can to help make Johnson City a healthier community.

“Many lives are affected indirectly by the smoking and tobacco advertisements that it's become a real problem in our society," said Brady. There are six tobacco retailers along Main St. in Johnson City-- covering less than a mile radius.