Photo: Mary Streepy
Students at Western Boone High School are at the forefront of the latest anti-smoking campaigns.
The anti-smoking foundation Legacy premiered its latest ad campaign on MTV’s Video Music Awards this weekend. Its tagline “Finish It” takes a generational approach, calling on today’s teenagers to be the last to deliver new customers to the cigarette industry.
But Legacy is also mobilizing school anti-smoking groups like Western Boone’s “Voice,” which plans to post anti-smoking videos calling out the tobacco industry’s marketing techniques.
Legacy COO David Dobbins says an anti-smoking message that might be viewed with suspicion when delivered by adults or a health agency becomes more persuasive in a peer-to-peer setting.
Western Boone cross-country runner Madison Gourley says they’ll spread the word to classmates and fellow athletes from other schools. She says athletes can and will carry the message beyond their usual social circles.
Attorney General Greg Zoeller, who joined Legacy’s board this week, acknowledges the idea of using peer pressure to reduce youth smoking isn’t a new one. But he says each new effort has trimmed the ranks of youth smokers.