NEW YORK, May 24, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- DoSomething.org, a global movement of over 5.5 million young people and truth®, one of the largest and most successful national youth tobacco prevention campaigns, have teamed up with a new emoji compatibility quiz called "Who Has Their Eye on You?" to show teens how Big Tobacco is vying for their attention. Coco Jones, the 19-year-old star of Disney's Let it Shine recorded a public service announcement to encourage fans to take the quiz and find out who has their eyes on them.
The quiz follows the launch of the latest campaign by truth, #STOPPROFILING, that underscores the fact that tobacco use is more than a public health issue, it's a social justice issue. Tobacco is not an equal opportunity killer. It disproportionately affects people in low-income communities, racial and ethnic minorities, LGBT individuals and those with mental illness—all a result of profiling by the tobacco industry.
Beginning today through July 15, 2017, young people can sign-up at DoSomething.org/quiz to find out their perfect match. While most dating quizzes consider favorite foods or ideal Friday night plans, this quiz "matches" users based on income, race and sexual orientation – the same data points Big Tobacco uses to target people in African-American, low-income and LGBTQ communities.
"I was shocked by my match and couldn't believe how many ways Big Tobacco targets black, LGBT, low-income and other marginalized youth," said Coco Jones. "I want to do my part to ensure my fans know about these disgusting tactics, shout it out and be and be the generation that ends smoking for good."
Though teen smoking of traditional cigarettes reached a historic low of 6 percent in 2016, that number does not tell the full story because tobacco is not an equal opportunity killer. Smoking rates are not consistent across the nation, and the quiz shows that who you are, where you live, whom you love, and how much you have influence whether or not you smoke and how the tobacco industry targets you. For instance:
- The marketing and promotion of menthol cigarettes have been targeted heavily toward African Americans.1 More than 88 percent of African American smokers aged 12 years and older use menthol cigarettes.2 Each year, approximately 47,000 African Americans die from smoking-related disease. 2 3
- LGBTQ young adults, 18-24, are nearly two times as likely to smoke as their straight peers.4 5
- Individuals with mental illness or substance use disorder account for up to 40 percent of cigarettes smoked in the United States.6
- People living below the poverty level in the U.S. are nearly twice as likely to smoke, compared to those at or above the poverty level.7
"We work with an incredibly diverse group of young people, and we've seen that our members love taking a stand against Big Tobacco," said Aria Finger, CEO & Chief Old Person at DoSomething.org. "With this new campaign we look to arm young people with the knowledge of how certain communities are profiled by Big Tobacco, giving the power back to young people and asking them to call out these predatory practices."
Millions of teens have taken steps to become "Finishers" and be the generation that ends smoking for good by acting both nationally and locally through social media and on-the-ground community efforts. truth and DoSomething.org are building on this momentum and encouraging young people to use their voice for good by calling out tobacco industry profiling when they see it.
"Today's teens are a generation with an unyielding commitment to diversity, inclusivity and equality," said Robin Koval, CEO and president of Truth Initiative, the national public health organization that directs and funds the truth campaign. "Tobacco is still the number one cause of preventable death. We want to arm everyone with the facts about tobacco industry profiling, urge them to call it out through the #STOPPROFILING campaign, and send a loud and clear message to the tobacco industry that it's just not cool."
To learn more about Who Has Their Eye On You?, click here.
To view the PSA, click here.
DoSomething.org is a global movement for good.
We're activating 5.5 million young people (and counting!) to make positive change, both online and off. And it's already happening in every area code in the US and in over 131 countries! When you take action with DoSomething.org, you join something bigger than yourself. You team up with the young people who've run the largest sports-equipment drive. And clothed over half of America's teens in homeless shelters. And cleaned up 3.7 million(!) cigarette butts around the world. You've got the power and the passion to make a difference on any issue you want -- we'll help you get it done. Welcome to DoSomething.org. Let's do this.
truth® is one of the most successful and one of the largest national youth tobacco prevention campaigns. The campaign exposes the tactics of the tobacco industry, the truth about addiction, and the health effects and social consequences of smoking. truth gives teens facts to make their own informed choices about tobacco use and inspires them to use their social influence and creativity in the fight against tobacco. The campaign is credited with preventing hundreds of thousands of teens from starting to smoke, and is working to make this the generation that ends smoking for good. To learn more, visit thetruth.com. truth is part of Truth Initiative, a national public health organization dedicated to achieving a culture where all youth and young adults reject tobacco. To learn more about Truth Initiative's work speaking, seeking and spreading the truth about tobacco, visit truthinitiative.org.
2 Giovino GA, Villanti AC, Mowery PD, et al. Differential trends in cigarette smoking in the USA: is menthol slowing progress? Tob Control. 2015; 24 (1): 28-37.
3 Robinson RG, Sutton CD, James DA, Orleans CT. Pathways to Freedom: Winning the Fight Against Tobacco. U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2004.
5 Lee JGL, Griffin GK, and Melvin CL. (2009). Tobacco use among sexual minorities, USA, 1987-2007 (May): a systematic review. Tob Control, Online First.
6 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (March 20, 2013). The NSDUH Report: Adults with Mental Illness or Substance Use Disorder Account for 40 Percent of All Cigarettes Smoked. Rockville, MD.
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