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Bill would Give Money to Prevention Programs for Teens

Teenagers

The bill contains six key tobacco-use-prevention funding elements:

• $6.31 million to create 10 regional programs to cover all 100 counties.

• $200,000 toward youth leadership and involvement training.

• $190,000 for prenatal and neonatal outreach, education and training.

• $100,000 for a tobacco-free-campus initiative.

• $100,000 for a smoke-free, multi-unit housing initiative to protect children from secondhand smoke.

• $100,000 for tobacco use prevention program evaluation.

A bipartisan Senate bill would provide $7 million for tobacco-use-prevention programs, representing the first such state funding in four years.

Studies show that teenagers prefer to buy flavoured cigarettes with cherry, vanilla, chocolate tastes.

Senate Bill 662 was introduced Thursday by Sens. Stan Bingham, R-Davidson; Fletcher Flartsell Jr., R-Cabarrus; and Mike Woodard, D-Durham.

The $7 million would be appropriated for the 2015-16 and 2016-17 budget years. The funding would go to the N.C. Division of Health and Human Services and be earmarked for six categories.

The biggest would be $6.31 million to create 10 regional teen tobacco-use-prevention programs that would cover every county. The funding would create a full-time coordinator position in each region, as well as fund tobacco-use prevention programs in school districts and at county level, and pay to train teenagers to educate peers and community leaders on the programs.

An additional $190,000 would be dedicated toward prenatal and neonatal outreach, education and training.

In 2011, the General Assembly abolished the N.C. Health and Wellness Fund after 10 years of existence, as part of an attempt at resolving the state’s budget gap. The average annual spending on the programs had been about $17 million.

“I don’t know if I will be able to make progress with the bill, but it would be a shame not to try,” Bingham said.

“It is important for youths to know the facts as they approach adulthood, but whether they will listen is an individual choice. We have to develop a smarter message, because the taxpayers continue to help pay the burden when these folks have serious health issues down the road.”

Bingham said he believes the biggest hurdle to restoring funding “is that there are so many needs for so many things, and we as a legislative body have to decide upon our priorities. There will always be budget shortfalls.”

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2015 in Tobacco News

 

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A Less Defiant Tack in a Campaign to Curb Smoking by Teenagers

SMOKING had long been a hallmark of teenage rebellion when “Truth,” a campaign from Legacy, introduced its first antismoking commercial in 2000. In the commercial, young people gather at the New York headquarters of the Philip Morris tobacco company and dump 1,200 body bags, representing the number of daily deaths attributed to smoking. The spot sought to shift a perception of cigarettes as a symbol of rebellion to one of the tobacco industry as the real enemy to rebel against.

The continuing “Truth” effort has been widely viewed as a success. A 2009 study in The American Journal of Preventive Medicine, for example, found that from 2000 through 2004, the effort was directly responsible for preventing 450,000 teenagers from starting to smoke. Now Legacy is about to introduce a new effort on behalf of the “Truth” campaign, “Finish It,” which takes a decidedly less rebellious tone.

A new commercial opens with “Revolusion,” a song by the Swedish performer Elliphant, and white text against an orange background. “In 2000, 23 percent of teens smoked,” it reads. “Today, only 9 percent of teens smoke. That’s less than the number of VHS tapes sold in 2013. It’s less than the number of landlines still in use. But the fight isn’t over.”

The spot shows photographs that teenage users of Facebook and Instagram have posted of themselves trying to look tough or sexy while smoking, which have garnered hundreds of “likes” from their friends on the social networks. Similar to the Human Rights Campaign, which last year asked social media users to change their profile pictures to a version of its logo, an equal sign, to show support for marriage equality, the campaign urges teenagers to change their profile pictures, too.

As detailed in the spot, on thetruth.com website users can superimpose a logo for the campaign, an “X” in an orange square, onto a profile picture, meaning their faces are still visible.

“We have the power,” text in the spot concludes. “We have the creativity. We will be the generation that ends smoking. Finish it.”

The commercial, which will be introduced on Monday, is part of a campaign that includes cinema advertising and digital advertising, and is being pitched to consumers ages 15 to 21. It is the first campaign for Legacy (formerly known as the American Legacy Foundation) by 72andSunny in Los Angeles, which is owned by MDC Partners. The foundation will spend an estimated $130 million on advertising over the next three years on all its antismoking campaigns, which include efforts that focus on older smokers.

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Posted by on August 12, 2014 in Tobacco News

 

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