New round of state ads attacks smoking
With smoking-related illnesses still killing thousands of Wisconsinites each year and costing billions of dollars in medical expenses, Gov. Scott McCallum and the Wisconsin Tobacco Control Board launched a second set of anti-smoking advertisements.
The spots are aimed at demystifying ads by tobacco companies and reducing the number of smokers in the state.
The campaign, with the message "Nicotine Is Addictive. Tobacco Is Deadly," debuted Monday at a news conference at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Wauwatosa and is part of an on-going multimedia campaign being financed by Wisconsin tobacco settlement money.
The new ads come in three installments, each of which presents a solemn man remembering his wife, who died as a result of smoking when she was 46. In a television ad, pictures of her smiling flash across the screen as he talks.
In one ad, the man, who identifies himself as Rick Stoddard, tells of lighting cigarettes for her after she was diagnosed with cancer. "The lighter had a happy face on it," he says.
Another ad recounts his learning that her lung cancer had spread, resulting in 20 lesions on her brain. "Then I fell apart. I cried," he says.
The group of ads will air on radio and television, with a few additional ones directed at teenagers being played only on radio. To capture a larger audience, an ad being aired as a movie preview will be shown at theaters.
"We have to change the way people think of tobacco," McCallum said.
David Gunderson, executive director of the board, said that the board has allotted $6.5 million toward its multimedia campaign and that this campaign cost a little more than the $350,000 spent on the first set of ads.
He also said there are plans for the launch this summer of a third message, "The Tobacco Industry Lies," which will be similar to a Florida campaign, and a fourth series of ads in September targeting minority communities.
The anti-smoking efforts are being financed by money from the national tobacco settlement in 1998 that forced tobacco companies to reimburse states billions of dollars for the costs of smoking-related illnesses.
Appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on May 15, 2001.