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Youth Smoking Prevention Campaign Meets Teens On Their Level

(NAPSA)-For many teens, the teenage years are a time of rebellion and experimentation-and smoking is one way teens challenge authority.

The truth(r) youth smoking prevention campaign reaches teens effectively by never telling them what to do-or what not to do-even when it comes to the decision to smoke. Instead, the campaign seeks to become a part of teens’ everyday lives through the television programs they watch, the Web sites they visit, and by having a presence at concerts and events where teens naturally gather.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the successful public health campaign-most known for a series of iconic, provocative television ads highlighting tobacco-related information and tobacco industry tactics.

According to research recently published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, truth was responsible for 450,000 fewer youth smokers in a four-year period.

Every year, the campaign sends out a team of young adults to travel the country and meet up with teens at concerts, skateparks, malls and other events. The truth crew members create a fun, dynamic atmosphere that makes it easier to discuss tobacco issues in a nonpreachy way. Most tour stops feature the distinctive orange truth truck and zone, where teens gather to have fun. In the zone, crew members:

  • Hold fashion shows, dance contests and freestyle rap “battles”;
  • Teach DJ lessons through “Scratch Academy.” A group of DJs school newcomers on the fundamentals of DJ’ing, scratching and mixing music;
  • Play games;
  • Distribute truth “gear”- fashionable, trendy items like T-shirts, hats and backpacks reflecting tobacco facts.

Every year, the tour reaches more than 500,000 teens in person during the course of its 70-odd-city cross-country tour.
To learn more, visit www. thetruth.com.

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Ray Winnie
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