Youth Want Truth In Cigarette Labeling
Lowell, MA- 2/20/2002- Youth from Lawrence today joined teens from around
northeastern Massachusetts to introduce new cigarette warning label designs
they hope will encourage federal legislation requiring more truth on
cigarette packages. Citing the i
The Massachusetts youth were inspired by Canada, which has required similar
large graphic labels since January 2001. A recently released study reports
the effectiveness of the new Canadian labels in discouraging smoking. In
designing their labels, the Massachusetts youth targeted specific audiences,
such as other youth, pregnant women and parents of young children.
"We wanted to make tobacco warning labels more effective to help prevent
people from smoking and to influence smokers to quit," said Johanna
Ortolaza, age 17, of the Lawrence Teen Coalition.
The teens are part of youth advocacy programs of the Massachusetts Tobacco
Control Program and last March took part in a regional Youth Advocacy Summit
where the label project began. Over 150 label designs were created in youth
groups from Haverhill to Salem. A group of teens and adults narrowed down
the designs to six concepts that were transformed into the final designs by
a graphic artist and made into oversized mock cigarette packages. The
three-foot tall packages will be displayed in communities around the
northeast this spring, including Lawrence.
"We hope that these warning labels will eventually appear on U.S.
cigarettes, similar to the Canadian cigarette packages," Johan Pereira, age
16, of the Lawrence Teen Coalition.
The Lawrence Teen Coalition's RETO group is funded through the Massachusetts
Tobacco Control Program, which is part of the Massachusetts Department of
Public Health. RETO has been working to prevent tobacco use among teens in
the Lawrence area since 1993.