Speech at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza
by Candierrick Narcisse
Reality Check - Bronx
August 1, 2002
Good afternoon members of the public, colleagues, press and delegates
of the United Nations. My name is Candierrick Narcisse. I am a member
of Reality Check; a New York Statewide youth led anti-tobacco movement
to expose the deceptive marketing practices of the tobacco industry. Reality
Check's main goals are to change the way the tobacco industry is viewed
by society and how the industry is allowed to target teens in New York
State. It empowers teens to fight against the tobacco industry by educating
us on the negative effects of smoking cigarettes.
As a child, my mother taught me not only to care about myself, but also
to care for others. I was responsible for making sure that my brothers
and sisters were safe. I had to protect them from anyone who tried to
inflict harm upon them. My mother in turn would protect all of us from
unscrupulous people wanting to confuse and deceive us into harming ourselves.
Today, we are here because there are some people our mothers can't protect
us from, the Tobacco Industry.
They, the tobacco industry, have known since 1953, studies of clinical
data tends to confirm the relationship between heavy and prolonged tobacco
use and incidence of cancer of the lungs according to private memos found
in one of the biggest tobacco company. Apparently tobacco is bad for you.
There are over 4,000 chemicals in a cigarette and 43 are known cancer-causing
agents. Tobacco is truly a global problem. The World Health Organization
(WHO) estimated that each year about four million people die from tobacco
related illness. If current trends continue, this figure will rise to
about ten million per year by the year 2030, with seventy percent of those
deaths occurring in developing countries. In fact more people are expected
to die from tobacco related illness over the next thirty years then from
AIDS, automobile accidents, maternal mortality, homicide and suicide combined.
For this reason, tobacco should be seen as a major public health issue,
and in fact the American Surgeon General says that smoking is the most
overlooked form of drug addiction in today's society. That is the reason
we are here today, we, the teens of New York State want to make sure that
the Delegates of the United States hear our voices and make a strong treaty.
Protect us, all, from the Tobacco Industry. It's time that the world listens
to the overwhelming amount of data that shows tobacco to be a very deadly
product. Please, make sure that those who choose to put profit over health
are held responsible for all the harm they are causing our communities
here in the USA and around the world. Thank you.
This speech was delivered by Candierrick Narcisse at a
demonstration against the U.S. sabotaging of an international tobacco
control treaty -- on behalf of Philip Morris (United Nations - August
1, 2002). Narcisse is a teen member of the New York youth empowerment
program Reality Check (Bronx Chapter).