ARLINGTON, Va. (WNEW) — A tobacco education group is celebrating a huge drop in the teen smoking rate from the year 2000, and they are crediting prevention methods like the infamous truth campaign.
A new survey of U.S. teens by Legacy for Health, the organization behind the truth campaign, says only 9 percent of teens are smokers now, compared with 23 percent in 2000.
Robin Koval, Legacy’s CEO, says public education programs, clean air laws and higher prices and taxes on tobacco have all helped bring the rate down.
“We want to use the power of the 91 percent to really be the generation that could end tobacco,” Koval says.
The truth campaign recently launched new ads along those lines, which premiered during the MTV Video Music Awards.
Young people who spoke with WNEW’s Kimberly Suiters near Marymount University told her growing up with the truth campaign’s graphic images and shocking statistics influenced their decision to stay away from cigarettes.