Editor's note: Bockelman is a Moffat County High School student who participated in "Not for Sale, Big Tobacco."
Recently a local Get R!EAL coalition participated in a statewide event called "Not for Sale, Big Tobacco." We took pictures around town of students standing by tobacco displays and advertisements. After that, we put together a tri-fold display with pictures and quotes. We displayed this at the Children's Festival in Centennial Mall on April 22 and at Craig Middle School on April 26.
The most interesting and exciting part of this project was attending a news conference in Denver on April 30. Our group from Craig, along with about 200 other youths, participated in a "March Against Tobacco" demonstration at the Auraria campus. The purpose of the demonstration was to bring attention to tobacco industries and their advertising tactics.
Those attending this event were CMS students, Kyle Boss, Sean Guice, Michael Torres, Ryan Neece, Amber Liljedahl and April Etheridge.
Moffat County High School students attending were Karli Bockelman, Katie Kinkaid, Diedra Gray and Heather Brown. Sponsors Kathy Bockel--man and Chad Kiniston accompanied the group.
In doing this project, we learned that "big tobacco" spends more than $4 million a week in Colorado advertising alone.
We also learned that 80 percent of retail stores sell tobacco. "Big tobacco" spends millions of dollars trying to trick teenagers into getting really, really addicted, and that's just not cool.