The following is a press release from Legacy released August 13th, 2015
truth® is setting the record straight on flavored and alternative tobacco products in a new ad airing during the 2015 Teen Choice Awards broadcast on August 16 on FOX. While teen cigarette use has dropped from 23% to 8% since the start of the truth campaign in 2000, hookah and flavored cigar smoking has become more prevalent among teens, which is why truth is now calling attention to all types of smoking with a new ad showing that even tobacco, disguised with candy flavors, is still deadly and addictive.
Teen cigarette use is dropping at an impressive pace, but other forms of smoking, including hookah, “little cigars” and other flavor-filled tobacco products are contributing to overall rates of tobacco use among teens. According to national research, more than two fifths of U.S. middle and high school smokers report using flavored “little cigars” or flavored cigarettes, such as menthol.
truth takes aim at the misperceptions of many teens who believe that flavored products are less harmful than traditional cigarettes. The new ad speaks the truth about the flavors used to appeal to youth and the shocking health effects, including the facts that: in a one-hour hookah session a user inhales smoke equivalent to 50 to 100 cigarettes. That’s like smoking five packs of cigarettes in one hour; and flavored, “little cigars” still have similar compounds to traditional cigarettes and are just as harmful and addictive.
“There is nothing more powerful than teens armed with the facts and inspired to share the truth in their own ways and voices,” said Robin Koval, CEO and president of the public health organization that directs truth and has recently introduced plans to be called Truth Initiative. “This generation has the opportunity to finish tobacco for good and that’s why we are making clear the health effects and addictive nature of these alternative types of smoking. Teens deserve to know that when they smoke ‘little cigars’ and hookah that may not smell or taste as harsh as the traditional cigarette, they are still exposing themselves to deadly addiction.”
This latest ad is part of the Finish It campaign kicked off by truth one year ago. The campaign activates smokers and nonsmokers alike to make this the generation that ends tobacco use by giving teens the facts about tobacco, sharing progress in the fight against the tobacco epidemic and sharing tools teens can use to make the fight against Big Tobacco their own. In the past year, Finish It has driven more than four million visits to thetruth.com website for those tools, and the ads leading up to this new effort have been viewed online more than 85 million times.