The group set up shop inside Friendly’s restaurant near Pottsville, selling sweet treats and handing out information about the dangers of smoking and using tobacco.
The Schuylkill Teens Kickin’ Nicotine Team and the Schuylkill County Tobacco-Free Youth Coalition teamed up for the night.
“You know everyone needs to know and be aware about the dangers of smoking and if this is a place that has a lot of problems with that, then I think it’s really important that we’re here to bring the attention about it,” said Adalie Zanis of Pottsville.
The groups admit they are fighting an uphill battle.
A recent ranking listed the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area as the second worst in the nation when it comes to the percentage of adults who smoke.
Another study by Penn State researchers found Pennsylvanians spend an estimated 14. 2 billion a year in smoking-related costs, including health care.
“That’s why it’s important for these kinds of events for these kinds of groups to be active in the communities, the coalition has been in existence since 1999 so we’re a strong little group of individuals from agencies and we’re here just to support our kids,” said Angela Morgan of the coalition.
The teens know it is not just adults who are lighting up. They said young people are doing the same.
“We have children all across the district lighting up these cigarettes and it’s just you know, some of them don’t even know the health side of the situation,” said Brad Gotshall of Frackville.
“I think that they know that it hurts their health and they just don’t care or some of them might not know it,” said Jocelyn Beck of Cressona.
As part of Wednesday night’s fundraiser for the tobacco free groups, Friendly’s donated a percentage of sales to the groups to use for tobacco prevention activities.