That’s why students at the High School for Medical Professions in Canarsie, Brooklyn decided to show their friends and peers why they should kick the habit of smoking. On May 21, 2014, in honor of World No Tobacco Day, the students unveiled a mural showing the health effects of smoking that they had painted on their school’s cafeteria wall.
With the help of the muralist Marthalicia Matarrita, the students painted a mural that depicts a skeleton with a good and bad heart, representing the difference between the smoker and non-smoker.
The mural was the final project for students enrolled in a Global Kids program at their school to train youth to become tobacco control advocates in their community. Over the last six months, students learned how smoking affects nearly every organ in your body and how the tobacco industry aggressively targets youth in their local stores and pharmacies.
To illustrate the marketing tactics Big Tobacco uses to attract youth, Ranti Ogunleye and Ameria Lennard, senior trainers at Global Kids, and our Brooklyn team conducted a walking tour of the Canarsie neighborhood and visited stores where cigarettes and other tobacco products are sold.
When the mural was finally shown to middle school students and community leaders, Danasia Howard and Jadaida Glover who had worked on the mural talked with a News 12 Brooklyn reporter about the project. Both of them had experienced smoking-related losses and urged their friends and peers not to smoke.
“Our partnership with Global Kids at the High School for Medical Professions for the past four years has been so important to our work,” said Rachelle Rochelle of our Brooklyn team. “We’re training Brooklyn’s next generation of tobacco control leaders.”