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Ellsworth High School celebrates low teen smoking rates

Chloe Spriggle, FACT State Board Representative and Wisconsin DARE representative, showed Petryk and Ellsworth Superintendent Barry Cain pictures taken in convenience stores showing how the candy-looking packaging of tobacco products are placed close to candy.1 / 3
The Ellsworth High School FACT group was joined by State Rep. Warren Petryk in the EHS library Dec. 21.2 / 3
On Dec. 21, State Rep. Warren Petryk (R-Eleva) visited the Ellsworth High School FACT (Fighting Against Corporate Tobacco) group. The group did a presentation on how tobacco companies have made their packaging look more like candy products. They also discussed what FACT is and what other activities FACT has done in the local school district the last 10 years. Display boards showed the changes tobacco companies have made to their packaging to look more like candy products. FACT refers to that as "Manipuli...3 / 3

For the last 10 years, the Ellsworth High School Fighting Against Corporate Tobacco (FACT) group has worked to make people more aware of the tobacco industry's deadly and addictive products.

The group has put up signs in the schools, chalked messages on sidewalks, marched in parades, made human billboards and talked with teens to spread the word on Big Tobacco. Members have done all this as part of FACT, a statewide group of Wisconsin teens committed to fighting back against tobacco companies looking to make teens like their next generation of customers.

Local FACT members are excited the 2012 Youth Tobacco Survey (YTS) recently reported current smoking among state high school students is down 26 percent and middle school smoking is down 36 percent from two years ago. The new high school smoking rate is 13.1 percent and the new middle school smoking rate is 2.5 percent.

However, the group's work is not done. The tobacco industry is always looking for ways to hook new users. Lately, the industry has turned to new tobacco products that are flavored and packaged like candy. They want teens to think these products are fun and harmless, when reality differs.

It's exciting to see less people of teens' age smoking, but the public needs to keep the pressure on. Tobacco companies aren't going to let up anytime soon, and neither should everyone else.

To learn more about FACT's efforts to expose the tobacco industry, check out www.fightwithFACT.com.

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