Tobacco Prevention Ads On MARTA This Month
ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 16, 1999--This month, hundreds of advertisements in MARTA trains and buses, and posters next to convenience stores in Fulton County, aim to do the opposite of selling a product: they urge African-Americans to avoid tobacco.
The counter-ads are sponsored by the Georgia Department of Human Resources; the Genesis Prevention Coalition, a faith-based comprehensive community development coalition; and the Coalition for a Healthy Responsible Georgia (CHARGe), the statewide coalition for tobacco prevention. The ads are paid for with a grant to DHR's tobacco use prevention program from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a contribution from Genesis.
``We are very concerned that smoking is increasing at a much faster rate among African-American adults than among white adults,'' said Kathleen Collomb, director of the tobacco prevention program. ``Although African-Americans actually use less tobacco than whites, they are more likely to die if they contract the cancers associated with smoking.''
One third more African-American adults in Georgia reported that they smoked tobacco in 1997 than in 1995, according to Collomb, compared with a 6.6 percent increase among white adults. Nationally, the age-adjusted death rate for cancer of the trachea, bronchus and lung was 33 percent higher for African-American men than for white men from 1992-1994.
Posters placed next to 45 stores where tobacco products are sold feature the rhythm and blues group Boyz II Men proclaiming: ``Smoke-free, it's the new evolution.'' In the MARTA train and bus ads a picture of a toddler is captioned ``He's got his daddy's eyes and his momma's lungs.'' In another ad, a scene of a son hugging his father says, ``My father never had to tell me not to smoke. He showed me the way.'' All feature African Americans.
``When tobacco ads were identified and removed from billboards across the nation last April as a result of the settlement of lawsuits against the tobacco industry, we found that most of those ads had been in African-American neighborhoods,'' says Kareemah Abdullah of Genesis. ``We wanted to show our community the other side of the story.''