Winton Hills teens take a stand against tobacco

CINCINNATI -- Youth-led initiative Cincinnati Stand works to keep young people away from tobacco products. 

Demarius Williams is one of the 15 teens who belong to the group. He said it's important to get the message out there. 

"When you smoke, you're damaging yourself, and you're damaging others," he said. 

Junior Isaiah Adams said it's important for the group to meet their peers where they are. 

"If we tell adults, they wouldn't pay attention, but then if we tell kids they will listen to us because they're not hearing it from adults," Adams said. 

The group passes out anti-tobacco flyers in their neighborhoods and at events. The teens also do compliance checks at stores to ensure tobacco products aren't being sold to minors. 

Tonia Smith works as the Tobacco-Free Living Coordinator at the Cincinnati Health Department. She said the group is imperative in ending the cycle of tobacco use. 

"Big tobacco companies know these store are there," Smith said. "They know they target disadvantaged areas to have them initiate smoking. They know the advertisements they place at stores makes it difficult." 

The group is going into their second year, and members are looking for more teens to join their cause. 

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