who we are

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REALITY CHECK is a teen led, adult supported program working across New York State.

REALITY CHECK aims to expose the manipulative and deceptive marketing tactics of the tobacco industry. The tobacco industry actively exploits and markets a deadly and addictive product that is enticing to youth.

REALITY CHECK strives to produce change in our communities through grassroots education, mobilization, political education and media campaigns.

REALITY CHECK stands for being more than a replacement for the 1200 customers Big Tobacco loses daily in the United States alone.

REALITY CHECK wants big tobacco to know that WE WON’T BE BOUGHT.


Hear what Reality Check means to these youth in their own words…

Reality Check has made me grow into the person I am today. Being the Youth Advocate of the Year for 2011; I am a better leader than I ever was. I am ready to take a stand to stop teenagers from being the tobacco company’s replacement smokers.
James Hazzard, 18, Sharon Springs, NY

Because of Reality Check, I was able to write on my college applications that I have experience meeting with state legislators on a regular basis, speaking to audiences of 700+, and have attended numerous leadership seminars!
Jimmy Johnston, 18, Morrisville, NY

Reality Check has given me the opportunity to be a leader in my community. The work we do makes me feel necessary and important.
Olivia Raugi Chandler, 15, Plattsburgh, New York

I am involved in Reality Check to make an impact. Movements inspire revolution, and Reality Check is a movement. It means that I am involved in something much bigger than myself.
Jordan Peters, 18, Jamestown, NY


27 thoughts on “who we are

  1. I am involved in realty check to help the community by preventing kids and teens from starting to smoke by telling the dangers of what tobacco can do to you

  2. I am proud to be a part of an organazation such as reality check. I love this program because it shows adults that we are smart, and aren`t going to fall under the tobaccoo trap we want to show other kids that they aren`t alone in not wanting to smoke. Pure pressure is very bad these days and is showing kids that it ” might ” be okay to smoke. But its NOT!!! Today executives only care about the money not that 70 people die just in New York because of tobacco. So they want to start with young kids whom dont know any better so they put candy and ice-cream right next to candy, AND use bright colors and funky names ! i do not approve of how the tobacco industries are acting. – Meiranda Ewing

  3. I am involved in Reality Check because it means i’m helping people. These people have lost loved ones and parts of themselves to tobacco use and I just want to make sure they know that they are not alone in their current struggles.

  4. I am involved in reality check because I help prevent youth tobacco use in my community, and encourage people to stop using tobacco products because you are just hurting yourself more and more.

  5. i joined reality check when i learned about the dangers of tobacco and how easily it could be prevented. what i have is not a dream because i WILL make it a reality i will end youth tobacco use in my community and in the proccess save lives.

  6. I first heard about Reality Check through a friend. This was 4 years ago. Since then I have learned much more about the dangers of tobacco and I have stepped up to help educate my community about the problems it causes. The first step towards preventing todays youth from becoming tomorrow’s smokers is raising awareness. By doing this I help save lives and that’s time well spent.

  7. People I love have suffered rom different mediacal conditions from smoking. I do Reality Check to prevent others from going through the same.

  8. I think that too many people smoke these days and kids see too much tobacco in the community. I don’t think its cool what the tobacco companies do.

  9. I joined Reality Check to not only save the environment but also save lives by keeping kids from smoking. If we can stop our youth form smoking than the next generation will not even know what cigarettes are.

  10. I want people close to me and all around me to be safe. I don’t like what the tobacco companies do so I am in Reality Check.

  11. I saw the problem when I first began middle school, one of my best friends became addicted to tobacco I want to prevent more kids from falling into tobacco’s trap. I want to end the needless death that comes from such a preventable source.

  12. I do Reality Check because it saves lives, not only because it stops people from smoking but also because tobacco use costs so much. When people quit that money can be used to prevent other types of preventable causes.

  13. The reason I do reality Check is to help people out who smoke and keep kids from starting, so that we can all be tobacco free and live our life without getting lung cancer and getting sick.

  14. I joined Reality Check in hopes of making a difference in the tobacco world, and I believe that after only 1 year of participating in this group, I already have.

  15. I was a volunteer for Tobacco Free Chenango until they lost their fonding from NY State. I wish I could help other people never start or quit smoking. I am stage 4 advanced gold COPD because I quit too late. The end of October will be 10 years but it was too late. With no funding for Chenango County I don’t know how to help others not to go through what I live with everyday. I wish there was a way to help others in Chenango County. Frank

    • Dear Frank,
      Thank you for your dedication to keeping Chenango County youth tobacco free. We are all anxiously awaiting word on the new Advancing Tobacco Free Community’s grant. While we are all very sad to have lost James recently in Chenango County, there is a silver lining right around the corner. Chenango County will have tobacco control and prevention programming which I am happy to report to you will again include a Reality Check youth component. So hang in there a new contract in tobacco prevention will be up and running in Chenango County come July.

      • Please let me know and send me an e-mail. I want to help especially the young to never start or if they do smoke let them know how I quit because if I can quit anyone can. I have so many life experiences about smoking and the damage it does and would lie to share them. Frank

    • Thank you Frank! I will send you the contact information for the new contractor as soon as I get it. Thank you again for your dedication. Lisa

  16. I started in RC because it was volunteer work and I needed some on my college application…but I what I got out of it was so, so much more. I loved every minute of it and would join again in a heartbeat. What started out as a need to beef up my college application became one of best volunteering experiences ever. I’ve never smoked or tried to smoke or chew and definitively never will. Met a lot of great people and loved being a part of it as well. Happy to see it’s still making strides!

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