CHICAGO, November 25, 2013---The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) partnered with Chicago-based marketing and advertising agency LimeGreen to assist with a public awareness campaign that addresses menthol-flavored tobacco use. This program is part of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s call to action under the City of Chicago’s Public Health agenda entitled ‘Healthy Chicago.’ LimeGreen was charged with developing the awareness campaign that included television, radio and print creative
“Supporting a campaign aimed at protecting Chicago’s youth from the serious health problems posed by menthol cigarettes and other flavored tobacco products is a major responsibility,” said LimeGreen CEO, Michon Ellis. “Our goal was to help CDPH develop the right communications strategy that would resonate with all who are impacted by tobacco use.”
The new awareness campaign features a series of print ads that showcase close-ups of individuals whose faces are scarred with the words “Big Tobacco”. Complementing the print creative is a 30-second radio spot as well as a 30-second television spot, which also depicts individuals scarred by their addiction to tobacco products.
“Preventing youth from taking up smoking is a key strategy in lowering smoking rates overall and improving the health of Chicagoans,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Ecigarettes,as well as flavored products, are gateway tobacco products targeted at our kids. The tobacco industry has spent years developing products that are aimed at hooking our youth on nicotine and getting them smoking for their entire life. The City will continue to stand up to Big Tobacco to ensure our children will avoid preventable diseases and live long healthy lives.”
Chicago will become the first major city to regulate e-cigarettes as tobacco products, and the first city to impose targeted restrictions on the sale of flavored tobacco products including mentholated products. The expanded tobacco control policies will make it more difficult for youth to access these products, curtailing preventable diseases and other issues in the future.
Per the American Legacy Foundation, menthol, derived from the peppermint plant, provides a minty flavor and cooling sensation in cigarettes. This flavoring masks the tobacco taste and reduces the throat irritation associated with smoking, particularly among first-time users, who are most likely impressionable youths.
Research shows that menthol cigarettes contribute to youth smoking initiation and make it harder to quit. Newer and younger smokers, especially minorities, use menthol cigarettes at dramatically higher rates than older, established smokers.
According to a FDA panel, 80% of adolescent African American smokers use menthol cigarettes. Most adolescent Latino smokers, Asian American middle school smokers and almost half of 12-17 year old smokers use menthol tobacco. Further research demonstrates that more than 90% of adult smokers are hooked as teens.
The Chicago Department of Public Health hopes to disrupt this trend with the new awareness campaign and a lifeline for those who want to quite smoking or using tobacco products. Those interested can call 1-866-QUIT-YES for more information.
About the Chicago Department of Public Health:
The mission of the Chicago Department of Public Health is to make Chicago a safer and healthier place by working with community partners to promote health, prevent disease, reduce environmental hazards and ensure access to health care for all Chicagoans. For more information please visit:
About LimeGreen, LLC:
LimeGreen is a marketing and advertising agency specializing in message
development and delivery to diverse consumer groups. The agency’s clients include Beam Global Spirits and Wine, McDonalds Corporation, AmazingCosmetics and Luster Products. LimeGreen was founded in 2004 by CEO Michon Ellis and COO Mike Stratta. For more information please visit www.limegreen.net.