West Virginia's Anti-Tobacco Counter-Marketing Campaign Targets Nation-Leading Smokeless Tobacco Problem
WINFIELD, W.Va., May 10 /PRNewswire/ -- West Virginia's smokeless tobacco problem is the target of a new statewide teen marketing campaign unveiled by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR). The ad is one of the first anti-tobac
"Smokeless tobacco is the tobacco of choice for many West Virginians, especially those who work around heavy equipment, miners who work underground, and farmers," said DHHR Secretary Paul Nusbaum. Over the years, Nusbaum said, parents have passed on the habit to their children.
The Secretary said West Virginia must break the cycle if it is going to see a reduction in tobacco-related illnesses and deaths.
The "Make Your Own Dip" commercial features a West Virginia high school student blending ingredients found in "dip" or "chew."
"Check out what else they put in it. You got lead, benzene - that's like paint thinner. And...arsenic. That's rat poison. Oh yes, and formaldehyde. Preserves corpses (blends ingredients). And now it's ready to go in your mouth," says high school student Mike Yankavitch in the TV ad.
Yankavitch, a junior at Magnolia High School in the state's Northern Panhandle, was a tobacco user until last November when he attended a tobacco prevention conference. He then went home and convinced his parents to stop smoking.
The "Make Your Own Dip" spot is one of two TV ads unveiled today by the West Virginia DHHR. The other, "4,200", highlights the number of West Virginians that die each year due to tobacco-related illnesses. Teens from throughout the state worked with thembcgroup, DHHR's ad agency, to create the teen brand and advertising campaign.
"This is a teen-led, teen-conceived and teen-implemented counter-marketing campaign," said Traci Markham, senior account strategist for thembcgroup. "We have worked closely with hundreds of teens since last November to come up with the campaign."
Markham said the ad campaign, which begins Monday and runs for five weeks, will be followed by a summer grassroots effort and a Teen Summit in early fall.
The "Make Your Own Dip" and "4,200" spots can be viewed on-line at www.razewv.com beginning Monday, May 13, 2002.