Anti-Smoking Commercials Target Sports Fans Watching TV

For one in three sports fans, watching the game and lighting up a cigarette go hand in hand. And those are the fans an anti- smoking group hopes to reach during the World Series.

REPORTER: He’s stealing cars for his smoke break. She’s making margaritas at her desk. A humorous look at a serious subject and the excuses made.

CHERYL YATES: As any smoker, ex-smoker can tell you.. You need no reason to smoke, any reason is good.

REPORTER: And for some that reason is the thrill of victory.. the agony of defeat. A new survey by the American Legacy Foundation finds 1 in 3 sports fans smoke.. 5 out of 6 smoke while watching sports. So this year, a thought- provoking new ad campaign is targeting sports fans.. running during commercial breaks in the World Series.

YATES: It’s something all ex-smokers can identify with.. the need to really, relearn some very basic activities of life that you’ve done for years or decades.. with a cigarette in hand.

REPORTER: A temptation that rises along with the runs.. The survey suggests when the score of the game is close.. nearly one third are extremely or very tempted to light up.

YATES: Whether they evoke pleasure or excitement or sadness or anxiety.

REPORTER: The campaign comes at a time when smoking cessation programs are being put on the back burner.

YATES: The statewide tobacco budget started at 84 million and now it’s at 17.6 million.

REPORTER: The latest round of budget cuts showing a 45 percent drop in funding. For the Tobacco Free Wellness Center at the Reading Hospital and Medical Center… that means cutting a staff member.

YATES: Certainly our services will continue in some way but they will be at a reduced level.

REPORTER: The national exposure generated by the ads won’t likely make up the difference in what program directors say they are losing.. but the hope is smokers will think twice about watching with a cigarette.

source: Tobacco-Free Wellness Program

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