Local News

Durham teen nominated for Teen Choice Award

Posted July 29, 2008 11:56 a.m. EDT
Updated August 3, 2008 3:52 p.m. EDT

— A North Carolina native is one of nine finalists for the Do Something Award at the annual Teen Choice Awards.

The “Do Something Award” is for a young person who is making a difference in the world and their own communities.

After losing his great-grandfather  to lung cancer, Chad Bullock, 19, of Durham, became an anti-tobacco activist and consultant for youth advocacy and tobacco prevention.

Bullock has trained 15,000 teens nationwide in developing an action plan and led activists to make the Durham Bulls Athletic Park smoke-free, according to his bio on the Do Something Web site.

The Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids honored Bullock in Washington, D.C., in May 2006 for his leadership in the fight against tobacco use. He led a project opposing the Brown and Williamson Tobacco Company's 2004 Kool Mix marketing campaign, which used hip-hop images and music to market cigarettes.
Bullock and other teens did surveillance of stores and found that Kool Mix ads were located primarily in black communities.

"We drafted up a letter to Attorney General Roy Cooper and after we sent the letter, he got some of his attorney general friends and they eventually went together and drafted the lawsuit against tobacco companies and it was settled," Bullock said in a 2006 interview with WRAL News.

The Kool Mix marketing campaign went up in smoke.

Bullock and the Durham group, Question Why Youth Empowerment, also went to several local convenience stores to help teach clerks how to decipher whether a person is old enough to buy tobacco products by looking at their drivers’ license in a specific way.

A project to get Golden Corral restaurants go smoke-free was also started by Bullock. The company is headquartered in Raleigh. After Bullock left to attend Nyack College in New York, he turned the project over to Question Why Youth Empowerment.

Bullock and the group are also working to get the campus of Durham Technical Community College smoke-free.

“Something has to be done and standing up to the tobacco industry is what I am doing,” Bullock said in a statement Saturday.

Bullock, a sophomore studying mass communications and television, said he still has family members, including his grandmother, who smoke.

"I am still working working on my grandmothers. She knows the work that I am doing and she supports it," Bullock said. "It is hard to quit."

The nine finalists have already won $10,000 each from DoSomething.org. The winner of the Do Something Award will take home $100,000.

"IT is such a good honor. Generally when you do work in the community, you aren't doing it to be recognized," Bullock said. "It (the award) shows that your work does pay off."

The winner will be decided by online votes. Voting ended Friday.

The Teen Choice Awards invites teens to choose their favorite celebrities in movies, music, sports and TV. Bullock leaves on Friday for Los Angeles to attend awards. The show is being taped Sunday and broadcast Monday at 8 p.m. on Fox.