Minnesota “Stop the Start” Seeks Tobacco Reduction

photo courtesy Health Canada

DULUTH – LIVING – Minnesota continues to make progress in reducing smoking, but many feel it is not enough. A new ad campaign is reminding Minnesotans that we can and should do more to prevent kids from becoming addicted to tobacco.

ClearWay Minnesota, an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing tobacco use, launched an ad campaign called Stop the Start that hopes to end smoking for good.

The modern tobacco industry’s use of social media, coupons, concert promotions and other tactics aimed at youth are explored in a new television ad, called “Cowboy Pop Star.” Another new spot, “Train,” highlights why tobacco companies work to attract new smokers, because more than half of all smokers die from smoking-related diseases. The new TV spots will air statewide along with other elements of the campaign, including a new website and print, radio, online and transit ads.

“The tobacco industry continues to aggressively market its products to ‘replacement smokers,’ to guarantee their profits,” said David Willoughby, Chief Executive Officer of ClearWay Minnesota. “Our hope is this campaign will spur Minnesotans to look closely at the tobacco industry’s tactics and support policies proven to prevent youth smoking. Nearly all smokers start by age 18, but if we can prevent teens and youth from starting, smoking stops.”

The new campaign directs viewers to a new website, www.stopthestartmn.com, which provides facts about tobacco industry marketing tactics, and highlights areas where progress has been made and resources for people who want to get involved.

“ClearWay Minnesota has a history of launching bold campaigns that generate emotion and discussion,” said Molly Hull, Director of Brand Development at Clarity Coverdale Fury, the Minneapolis advertising agency that created the campaign. “This campaign’s power is in the message that we can do more to prevent kids from becoming addicted. That sentiment really hits home for the majority of Minnesotans, especially those who have experienced the effects of smoking.”

To view the new television spots and find out more about the campaign, visit www.stopthestartmn.com or ClearWay Minnesota’s Facebook page or YouTube channel.

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