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Falconer Youth Participate In Tobacco Company Protest

Falconer student Jay Miller is pictured during a recent protest at the Altria Group Inc.’s shareholder meeting.

FALCONER – Falconer Central School students Abby Rexroad, Jay Miller and Luca Benedetto of Falconer Central School joined more than 50 youth and advocates from nine national organizations to rally at Altria Group Inc.’s 2024 annual meeting of shareholders.

The students and adults held a demonstration outside Altria’s Lobbyist Office in Washington, D.C., while several youth activists were designees to directly address Altria’s CEO Billy Gifford and ask questions during the virtual shareholders’ meeting. Altria’s messaging and the movement of youth to using vaping and nicotine pouches, helped create the theme of this year’s Mobilize Against Tobacco Lies event which was “Same Snake, Different Skin” referencing that the tobacco industry might be promoting alternative products to traditional cigarettes, but the products contain nicotine, many higher than cigarettes and come in appealing flavors to youth.

This year marks the ninth consecutive year that Mobilize Against Tobacco Lies (MATL), a collaborative of youth programs and national partners, have held such protests.

Reality Check youth from across New York state rallied with a collaborative of tobacco control youth programs including Dover Youth to Youth of New Hampshire, Traditional Tobacco Voices in Minnesota, and national partners; Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, American Indian Cancer Foundation, Corporate Accountability, Counter Tools, Center for Black Health and Equity, and the Truth Initiative.

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