“Progress” is made from coast to coast as millenials warn Big Tobacco they’ll #FinishIt

“Progress” is made from coast to coast as millenials warn Big Tobacco they’ll #FinishIt

The following is a blog from Legacy released November 10th, 2014
Source: Legacy Blog

In response to remarkable progress being made in the fight to end the tobacco epidemic, the nation’s largest youth smoking prevention campaign, truth®, releases today the latest evolution of their Finish It campaign. Underscoring major declines in youth smoking in the State of Florida, one commercial highlights reductions from 15.7% in 2005 to 7.5% in 2014, the lowest youth smoking rates ever recorded there. The ad challenges, “If the state that is known for spring break and partying until 6 a.m.” can make such dramatic gains, other states can surely follow their lead.

The second ad applauds CVS Health for making the groundbreaking move in September to eliminate tobacco sales from their stores, choosing to place public health ahead of corporate profit.  Similarly, truth calls on the four remaining national pharmacy chains to follow their lead.

Finish It is working to enlist this generation of young people to be the generation that finally ends smoking for good. Since its launch the campaign has engaged millions of youth online via YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, reflecting the momentum of the movement. The newest spots, to be featured both online and on television, will show how this youth-led revolution to end tobacco use is quickly moving across America.

“This campaign is about putting the power to save lives in the hands of this generation, rallying an army of “Finishers” who will make ending the tobacco epidemic a fight of their own.” said Robin Koval, CEO and President of Legacy, the national public health foundation that directs and funds truth. “As a result of their power and creativity so much progress has already been made. We hope to inspire others to carry this torch until the percentage of teen smokers’ moves closer and closer to zero.”

“It is very important for youth to be engaged in tobacco issues because they are the future,” said Vincent Irving, Legacy Youth Fellow and former Florida S.W.A.T member. “Youth are powerful change agents and are one of the main reasons the smoking rate continues to decline in our state. I truly believe we canFinish Itnot only in Florida but across the country.”

“These new truth ads show that we know how to make the next generation tobacco-free,” said Matthew L. Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.  “Every state can be like Florida in reducing youth smoking rates to record lows. America’s retailers can help them achieve it by joining CVS in ending the sale of tobacco products – the number one cause of preventable death.”

The “Progress Reports” are the first of eight commercials to run nationally which will demonstrate the significant strides that have already been made around the country in the goal to kick-start further reductions in youth smoking.

“We hope this generation continues to feel empowered in the fight against tobacco use.” said Eric Asche, Chief Marketing Officer, Legacy. “This is their fight.truthcelebrates ‘Finishers’ on a national stage, while calling out others who could and should be helping to Finish It.”

The Finish It campaign was created by Legacy and its creative agency of record: 72andSunny.

Erica Olmstead
Erica Olmstead's journey with youth advocacy and tobacco control began as a youth advocate in New York with the Reality Check program. Over the past 12 years, she has continuously focused her efforts on empowering youth to advocate against corporate tobacco, first as a youth advocate, later as a Reality Check Program Coordinator and now as a member of the Youth Advocacy team at the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids in Washington, DC.

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