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Statewide Anti-Smoking Campaign Takes New Approach in Curbing Teen Smoking
Date:2/16/2009

the loss of control over their day-to-day activities -- the constant disruptions caused by nicotine addiction. This and other discoveries were amplified by research from national organizations, including the American Cancer Society reporting that only three out of 100 high school smokers think they will still be smoking in five years, while studies show that the reality is about 60 of them are smoking seven to nine years after high school.

A member of the teen consultant group, a smoker herself, confirmed that the campaign was on target after previewing it for the first time. "(Addiction) got me early and it's hard to quit," said Kirin Meza, 17. "I think everybody thinks that they can control their own will, but it's not their choice that they need to smoke. It's the chemicals that drive them to want to have their fix."

Funding for this new tobacco use prevention campaign comes from the tobacco tax approved by voters in 2002 through Proposition 303. These are tobacco tax funds, not state general funds, and they are dollars that must be used for tobacco use prevention efforts. The campaign's 2009-2010 budget is approximately $3.5 million. Interestingly this is an amount near the $3.6 million spent each day in Arizona alone on tobacco-related healthcare. However, the campaign's year-long budget pales in comparison to the annual tobacco industry marketing expenditures nationwide, which total $13.4 billion according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

"With 23 percent of Arizona high school students smoking cigarettes, it is critical that we dedicate allocated funds to prevention and education efforts," said Bill Pfeifer, TRUST Commission Chairman and CEO of the American Lung Association's Southwest Region. "The Governor is already demonstrating her strong leadership by approving the use of voter-protected tobacco tax funds to launch this new youth tobacco prevention campaign."


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SOURCE Arizona Department of Health Services Bureau of Tobacco Education & Prevention
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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