Hundreds of Westchester Teens to Rally Against Big Tobacco
NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y., May 3 /PRNewswire/ -- With the charge, "Don't Take Big
Tobacco at Face Value -- Appearances Can Lie," hundreds of teenage girls will
join Westchester County Executive Andrew J. Spano today at New Roc City to
kick off a first-of-its-
Teens from across the county will sign-on to the campaign by contributing
their names, handprints, and messages to a colorful graffiti wall. Highlights
of the "Face Value" kick off will also include the following:
* A discussion about tobacco, after which the girls will create poems and
read them on stage during an 'open mic' session;
* A casting session for teens between the ages of 14 and 17, who will vie
to become a "face" in the upcoming "Face Value" television ads by
expressing their attitudes about tobacco;
* An unveiling of the new "Face Value" Web site,
* A live performance by the new all-girl rock group, Miami Sound Machine.
The Westchester County "Face Value" campaign aims to counter tobacco
industry messages that target young women by portraying smoking as glamorous,
sexy, or 'cool' by revealing the truth about the negative effects of tobacco.
"We know that teens do not respond to information about the long-term
health hazards of smoking, such as cancer and heart and lung disease," County
Executive Andrew J. Spano said. "However, our research with teen girls across
the County told us they care about the effects on their appearance, facts
about the ingredients used in cigarettes, and what they could be doing with
their money if they don't smoke. Our 'Face Value' campaign will provide
teenage girls with the facts about smoking and encourage them to make positive
choices related to tobacco use."
Joining County Executive Spano at the event will be a group of teen girls
who will become the founding members of the campaign's Teen Advisory Council,
which will help bring perspectives from different parts of the county and
recruit teens to become involved in the campaign.
Additional components of the "Face Value" campaign will include:
* Advertisements that will air on radio and television programs popular
with teens beginning this month and running through the fall. The ads,
which include eye-catching colors and images of teen girls, will
present facts about smoking in a straightforward and compelling manner;
* In-school and summer events that will incorporate the concepts and
techniques introduced at today's rally;
* The "Face Value" Web site, http://www.westchesterfacevalue.com, which
will allow the campaign to continue reaching teens online and provide
them with opportunities for self-expression; and
* Three additional mall events, which will take place this year in
different parts of the county.
Westchester County developed the Face Value campaign in response to a 2001
report from the U.S. Surgeon General, Women and Smoking, which documents how
national smoking rates among 12th-grade high school girls significantly
increased in the 1990s. In New York State, smoking rates for teenage girls
are nearly five percent higher than smoking rates for boys -- more than double
the national average. Almost 30 percent of high school girls in the state
smoke cigarettes. An estimated 146,000 New York girls under 18 who currently
smoke are likely to die prematurely from tobacco-related illnesses.
Face Value is a component of Westchester County's 'Butt Out' anti-smoking
campaign for girls and boys, age 12 to 18, and funded with money provided to
Westchester County through New York's share of funds from the Master
Settlement Agreement between 46 states and the tobacco industry. The County
Executive's goal is to promote health, prevent disease, and prolong meaningful
life for Westchester residents. To learn more about Face Value, go to
http://www.westchesterfacevalue.com . For more information about Westchester
County, visit http://www.westchestergov.com .