Teenagers against Hollywood stars pushing tobacco

Posted: Wednesday, May 28, 2003

At 1 p.m. on May 31, the local Teens Against Tobacco Use group joined by supporters will walk together in recognition of World No Tobacco Day. World No Tobacco Day gives us one more opportunity to look at what the tobacco industry is really up to. Each year WND sponsors a different topic, this year's focus is films and fashion. The walk will begin at Marine Park and wind around South Franklin and Front Street. The students will be dressed as Hollywood stars who have experienced the physical consequences of smoking.

We want teens to recognize how the tobacco industry continues to influence young people through film. We also want people to begin to make more informed and committed decisions about how they are supporting this process.

Have you noticed the degree cigarette products are utilized in the film industry? It is almost as if it is the tobacco industry's last "free" advertising venue. They don't flash the surgeon general's warnings across the screen.

The law states that tobacco companies aren't allowed to pay the movie industry outright to advertise their products. It certainly is interesting that the most well-known stars are frequently smoking: Sandra Bullock, Julia Roberts and Ben Stiller. It has been speculated that other gratuities may be being made in exchange for this "free" advertising.

So if you're downtown on Saturday and you see a 15-year-old with a French twist and a wheelchair or her girlfriend with an oxygen tank join them or cheer them on!

These kids have done a fabulous job!

Ruth Simpson

TATU facilitator


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