NEW YORK, Dec. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pharmacies are a trusted source of health information and services. Yet in 2016, more than 50,000 pharmacies still sell tobacco -- the number one preventable cause of death in the U.S., killing more than 1,300 people each day.1 That's why DoSomething.org, a global movement of over 5.5 million young people and truth, the most successful tobacco prevention campaign, have teamed up for Take Back the Shelves, a campaign that asks young people to creatively use social media to demand that pharmacies remove tobacco from shelves.
Beginning today through December 31, 2016, young people can sign up for the campaign at DoSomething.org/shelves where they will learn about how tobacco companies attract young consumers by displaying their products at point-of-sale, behind checkout counters and on eye-level shelves. Participants will be asked to download a template and create artwork with items they want to see behind pharmacy checkout counters instead of tobacco products. Young people will then share their drawings on social media with #TakeBacktheShelves tagging a pharmacy to ask them to remove tobacco products from their shelves.
"Tobacco and pharmacies just don't mix," said Aria Finger, CEO at DoSomething.org. "In 2014, CVS Health stopped selling tobacco products and we hope that other pharmacies will follow their lead and listen to young people. We are working with truth in asking pharmacies to remove tobacco products altogether because we believe this can be the generation to end smoking for good."
Kira Kosarin, the 19-year-old star of Nickelodeon's The Thundermans recorded a public service announcement to encourage fans to join the effort and show pharmacies what they want to see on the shelves instead of tobacco products.
"Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. and that's why I'm proud to join the movement to end smoking. I want to do anything I can to inform and keep my generation from starting to smoke in the first place," said Kira Kosarin.
"At truth, we never shy away from speaking out about the tactics used and products sold by Big Tobacco – this campaign with DoSomething.org is no different," said Eric Asche, Chief Marketing Officer, Truth Initiative, the organization that runs truth. "The power to create social change is in the hands of today's young people. We know that creativity and social influence are tools that we can use to encourage pharmacies to remove tobacco products; a decision that is truly in the best interest of the consumer. We invite all pharmacies to join the Finish It movement to end smoking and the deadly impact it has on society."
While the teen cigarette smoking rate is 7 percent - an all-time low - Big Tobacco hasn't walked away and the fight isn't over yet. truth and DoSomething.org are building on this momentum and rallying a new generation to finish smoking for good. By encouraging young people to use their creativity, they are building the generation to '#FinishIT.'
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 the most successful and longest running national youth smoking 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.