For Tech Valley High School senior James Hazzard, the long list of cigarette ingredients with complicated names is a good way to scare students.

"Would you know that chocolate is in a cigarette?" said the Sharon Springs resident who volunteers with Reality Check of New York State, which aims to force cigarettes companies to quit targeting young people. The organization is funded by the Department of Health.

Hazzard said gas stations are a direct route for reaching kids. When they buy drinks, chips, ice cream or gum, he said, they see advertisements and tobacco displays with bright colors and cool logos and walls of discount cigarettes and smokeless tobacco with many different brands from which to choose.

"An established smoker doesn't notice the advertisements, but a child sees them and becomes intrigued," he said. He plans to post online a video he recently completed showing what the average student sees when walking past convenience stores every day.

In fulfilling his high school's community service requirement, Hazzard logged more than 600 hours of work with Reality Check since freshman year. This fall he'll enroll at Johnson and Wales University in North Miami where he'll study hospitality administration.

Hazzard has focused on banning smoking cigarettes in public parks and getting movies to stop showing characters who smoke. If they don't, he said, the films should lose their G, PG and PG-13 ratings, he said, noting that NBC and Universal Studios already enforce the more restrictive R rating.

Hazzard takes his message to schools to deglamorize tobacco. He'll speak at Watervliet High School for World No Smoke Day on Tuesday, May 31.

Recently students in Schoharie County heard from Rick Stoddard, who travels around the nation telling his personal story.

"Rick talks to children about his family, how they dealt with his wife's cancer," Hazzard said. "A lot of kids pay attention to that and become scared."

He said Reality Check doesn't pressure teens about using tobacco.

"It's their choice," he said. However, if they say they want to quit and ask for support, volunteers will put them in touch with the state hot line and give them support as they go through the process of kicking the nicotine habit.

Chelsea Diana, who is majoring in journalism at Boston University, is a Times Union summer intern.

Want to quit?

Todays tip: why not try this Monte Carlo out.