Our youth have seen enough tobacco marketing. That’s because tobacco companies are spending billions to put their products in front of our kids in stores. And the more kids see tobacco, the more likely they are to start smoking.
To protect our children from the billions of dollars of vivid tobacco marketing in places where they can see it, we launched the #SeenEnoughTobacco campaign earlier this summer.
The campaign, which includes video, social media, digital ads and a “Jack and Jill (and Tobacco)” storybook , shows what’s happening with tobacco marketing and children. To increase buzz and engagement, we went big and bold, combining cigarettes with common children’s items, like crayons, a birthday cake and ice cream truck to grab the attention of community members and parents and prompt their outrage. Viewers can then learn what they can do to help at the campaign’s website www.SeenEnoughTobacco.org.
The campaign is much needed. Why? Because In New York State, the average age of a new smoker is 13 years old, and 90 percent of adult smokers say they first tried smoking by age 18. The U.S. Surgeon General calls smoking a “pediatric epidemic” and says, “Advertising and promotional activities by tobacco companies have been shown to cause the onset and continuation of smoking among adolescents and young adults.”
If the tobacco industry ISN’T marketing to youth, why are they spending billions of dollars in places that kids visit regularly?” asked Anthony Billoni, Director at Tobacco Free Western New York. “Every day in New York State, the tobacco industry spends more than half a million dollars to market its products in places where children can see them using bright, bold colors and large signs. Whether you’re a parent or not, smoker or non-smoker, we can all agree that tobacco marketing’s influence on our children is outrageous. It’s our responsibility as a community to protect our children from tobacco marketing and put an end to this pediatric epidemic.”
As you can see, tobacco companies will do anything to get their products in front of kids. Tell them enough! Go to www.SeenEnoughTobacco.org and take action.