- Anthony McLean spends summer educating teens, other African Americans about deadly toll of tobacco -
(BLACK PR WIRE) WASHINGTON, D.C. – truth®, the nation’s largest smoking prevention campaign for youth, recently selected 14 young adults from across the country to serve as crew members for its annual summer tour. This summer, Anthony McLean is interacting with teens at local stops of popular summer musical and sporting events, educating young people about the health effects, addictiveness and social consequences of tobacco use.
A native of Washington, D.C., now living in Tallahassee, Fla., McLean is touring with truth® this summer. Tobacco use is an issue that is close to McLean. He has family members who smoke and hates how it can harm the body.
McLean also understands the impact tobacco use has on the African-American community. “For me, the truth® tour is, in part, about educating African-American teens and helping to spread the campaign’s life-saving messages.” Research shows that 21 percent of African-American adults smoke in the United States. Cigarette smoking is a major cause of cancer, and cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States. Although African-American men are more likely to develop cancer, both African-American men and women die from cancer at the highest rates.
Every year, truth® crews connect with more than 500,000 teens, allowing teens to experience the truth® campaign first-hand. This year, two crews and their signature orange “truth® trucks” will make more than 60 stops across more than 25 states, as they travel to some of the season’s hottest teen-oriented events. One crew will spend the summer traveling with the Vans Warped Tour, an annual summer rock festival featuring upcoming bands as well as more well-known rock and punk acts like Sum 41, Reel Big Fish, Everclear, Dropkick Murphys, I See Stars, and Mayday Parade.
A second truth crew will appear at different events including:
•AST Dew Tour, an action sports tour, featuring the top action sports athletes in the world competing for the highly coveted Dew Cup in skateboarding, BMX and freestyle motocross.
•The Honda Civic Tour, an annual concert tour sponsored by Honda Motor Company, featuring headlining band Paramore this summer.
•The Tony Hawk tour, an action sports tour.
The summer tour will be enhanced online at www.thetruth.com, which welcomes approximately 60,000 visitors per month. At the site, users can learn about truth®, meet the truth crew members who will be out on tour, view video blogs and photos from the field, play games, find out where upcoming events will take place, and view updates from tour stops. Free tickets to events can also be won via online contests.
truth® is a multidimensional campaign, featuring not only grassroots outreach through summer tours but also advertising (television, radio, print, online, cinema), Websites and interactive elements, and events. In the past decade, the truth® campaign has kept nearly half a million teens from smoking, protecting them from years of addiction and tobacco-related disease and saving countless lives. A growing body of research has confirmed the efficacy of the truth® campaign in changing teens' attitudes and behaviors toward smoking. A study published in the April 2009 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine (AJPM) found that truth® was directly responsible for keeping 450,000 teens from starting to smoke during its first four years, from 2000 to 2004. A second paper in that same publication found that the campaign not only paid for itself in its first two years, but also saved between $1.9 and $5.4 billion in medical care costs to society.
BACKGROUND ON THE truth CAMPAIGN
truth®, launched in February 2000, is the largest national youth smoking prevention campaign and the only national campaign not directed by the tobacco industry. The campaign exposes the tactics of the tobacco industry, the truth about addiction, and the health effects and social consequences of smoking. truth allows teens to make informed choices about tobacco use by giving them the facts about the industry and its products.
Legacy is dedicated to building a world where young people reject tobacco and anyone can quit. Located in Washington, D.C., the foundation develops programs that address the health effects of tobacco use, especially among vulnerable populations disproportionately affected by the toll of tobacco, through grants, technical assistance and training, partnerships, youth activism, and counter-marketing and grassroots marketing campaigns. The foundation’s programs include truth®, a national youth smoking prevention campaign that has been cited as contributing to significant declines in youth smoking; EX®, an innovative public health program designed to speak to smokers in their own language and change the way they approach quitting; research initiatives exploring the causes, consequences and approaches to reducing tobacco use; and a nationally-renowned program of outreach to priority populations. Legacy was created as a result of the November 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) reached between attorneys general from 46 states, five U.S. territories and the tobacco industry. Visit www.legacyforhealth.org.
Legacy is equipped with a VideoLink ReadyCam™ television studio system, providing you with faster, easier access to the nation’s leading tobacco prevention and cessation experts. From this in-house broadcast studio, Legacy can offer immediate access to its experts to comment on breaking news, new research publications, or any news related to youth smoking prevention, adult quit smoking programs, or any issue related to smoking. The studio is connected directly to the Vyvx fiber network and is always available for live or pre-taped interviews. To arrange an interview using the ReadyCam, please contact Julia Cartwright at 202-454-5596.