The Lorillard Tobacco Company Unveils Youth Smoking Prevention Program
The Lorillard Tobacco Company today announced the launch of a nationwide youth smoking prevention program. This investment by the company is in addition to the funds Lorillard and other tobacco companies have committed to the billion dollar youth smoking
``It is the policy of the Lorillard Tobacco Company that smoking is an adult choice and that children should not smoke, should not have access to tobacco products, and should be encouraged not to smoke through responsible and thoughtful programs,'' said Ron Milstein, Vice President, General Counsel and Director of Lorillard Tobacco Company's Youth Smoking Prevention Program. ``We have developed a program that is aggressive, highly creative, and effective in getting the message to kids that they should not smoke.''
``Parents play a critical role in childhood development, and so as a part of this campaign, we have turned to parent and teen experts to develop information and guidance for parents on how to talk to their children about not smoking.''
The new program, which the company said would be ongoing, is comprised of a series of national broadcast and print advertisements directed at both kids and parents, and includes websites, education materials, and a multi-city tour to encourage parents to talk to their kids about not smoking. The initial phase of the program will include:
- A series of new advertisements. Two broadcast and a series of print advertisements designed to convey that it is cool for kids not to smoke and cool to resist peer pressure; and one print advertisement to encourage parents to talk to their kids about not smoking. The advertisements will run on national television, both network and cable, and national print publications. Bozell Worldwide, known for its award-winning milk mustache campaign, among others, developed the advertising creative;
- A parenting guide developed by Dr. Michael Popkin, President of Active Parenting Publishers and author of more than 20 books and videos on parenting, that provides information and guidance on how parents can talk to their kids about smoking and encourage them not to smoke;
- Events in five major cities to encourage parents to "Take 10" minutes to talk to their kids about not smoking, and to distribute the parenting guide;
- Two websites, one for parents (www.2Take10.com) to obtain information on talking to their kids about not smoking, and one for kids (www.Buttoutnow.com); and
- The TeenH.I.P. (Teens Helping Influence People) Awards, a scholarship competition where kids can receive money for college for standing out from the crowd in sports, arts, community service and pledging not to smoke.
``We've turned to parenting and teen experts to develop for us a program that will be relevant to today's kids, that offers positive messages, and that provides parents information they can use to talk to their kids about not smoking,'' said Milstein. ``We're willing to be bold and take some risks with some edgy advertising, especially for a tobacco company, but we're committed to the nationwide effort to lower youth smoking rates.''
Milstein said the advertising had been carefully researched to measure its ability to deliver a strong message to kids to not smoke and to insure that the advertising would not be perceived as even remotely encouraging tobacco consumption.
``Our goal is to encourage kids not to smoke with a clear message that to abstain from trying tobacco products is a cool thing for a kid to do,'' Milstein said. ``Through highly creative advertising, and a clear and focused education program, we believe we can be successful in delivering the message to kids that it's cool not to smoke, and help take the edge off peer pressure on kids to use tobacco products.''