City rolls out anti-smoking campaign

City rolls out anti-smoking campaign
Pasadena city officials launched an anti-smoking campaign targeting children and teens who smoke or vape.

Pasadena city officials launched an anti-smoking campaign targeting children and teens who smoke or vape.

City officials Wednesday announced an anti-smoking campaign that will focus on communities of color in Pasadena.

The new campaign features sheep, snakes and suckers to educate about the dangers of nicotine products, and will make use of ads and posters in social media, bus shelters, and inside participating stores.

“It’s an addiction that can take your life,” Pasadena Councilman Tyron Hampton said. “This work is much needed in our community.”

Funding for the campaign comes from a three-year, $1.5 million grant from the Center for Disease Control. Pasadena Public Health Department is the only city-based organization in the country to receive funding, and also the only organization to put that funding in an anti-tobacco campaign.

This campaign will also take aim at electronic cigarettes and vapes, which have become popular and are just as deadly as traditional cigarettes.

Pasadena Public Health Department Director Michael Johnson said that a recent study showed that 34 percent of Pasadena Unified School District students have used a vape. Although widely touted as safer than regular smokables, flavored vape liquids often contain the same chemicals as a pack of cigarettes. The product is often marketed to teens and children, officials said.  And, they hope to counteract those efforts.

This campaign is launching in conjunction with Thursday’s American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout, a public health campaign meant to encourage smokers to quit. It also comes hot on the heels of California Propoposition 56, which Hampton said is already giving smokers in his community second thoughts about the habit.

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