Santa Clara County launches campaign to protect youth from tobacco

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(Excerpts from Press Releases)
The Santa Clara County Public Health Department launches its Lame Reasons to Smoke 3D animated video as part of its comprehensive strategy against tobacco in Santa Clara County. Thanks to the “Communities Putting Prevention to Work” initiative, a collective city and county effort against tobacco has been organized and implemented to protect our children from tobacco.

Although tobacco use is generally viewed as a disgusting and dangerous addiction, it remains an enticing act of rebellion that each year lures thousands of new young smokers. After being awarded the Communities Putting Prevention to Work grant, the Santa Clara County Public Health Department has made it a priority to protect all residents, particularly some of the most vulnerable-our youth. This month, the county will release a 30 second animated advertisement called “Lame Reasons to Smoke.” The campaign is intended to reach youth most likely to take up smoking.

One of the 3 “lame reasons to smoke” presented by the ad is delivered by an urban boy after waking up from a casket. “I want to die 14 years before my friends,” he says through a sinister grin and is then whisked away off screen. The message highlights the ultimate impact tobacco has on friendships through its deadly impact on health. The full video is available by visiting: facebook.com/lamereasonstosmoke and will have wide play on Google’s video network, as well as on cable TV and in movie theaters.

“Children in Santa Clara County are starting to smoke at ages as early as 13 and 14. And, a recent survey shows that 9% of Santa Clara County’s middle school and high school students smoked within the last 30 days,” said Dr. Marty Fenstersheib, Santa Clara County’s Health Officer. “The launch of these advertisements is a huge step in the right direction when it comes to educating the youth of our community that smoking is far from being ‘cool.’ The health effects of smoking are so dangerous, and getting that message out could save lives.”

The “Lame Reasons to Smoke” campaign is part of the Santa Clara County Public Health Department’s comprehensive strategy in working towards a tobacco-free community. For many months, the Public Health Department has coordinated with multiple jurisdictions to reach goals of limiting access to cigarettes through retail licensing. In addition, the plan aims to limit second-hand smoke exposure through smoke-free workplaces and in various public outdoor areas.

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