18, 2003 Contact: Orit Lender
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (718) 356-8113 ext.126
York City's Reality Check To Team Up With Local NYC Health Groups And
Encourage Stronger International Tobacco Policies Through
"The tobacco industry has been using the city's skyline and imagery on tobacco billboards, posters and promotional materials throughout the world," says Reality Check youth Jessica Harvey. "We cannot continue to tolerate the use of our city's imagery to market a deadly product internationally."
Also in attendance will be DC-based activist group, Essential Action. "We strongly believe that global tobacco companies, such as Philip Morris (now referred to as Altria) and British American Tobacco are using the concept of the 'American Dream' for their own profitable gain," says Anna White of Essential Action. White also cites that in the country of Georgia, the logo of the brand "American Dream" is the Statue of Liberty. In Hungary, British American Tobacco has targeted young people via its "New York Party Arena" cigarette and in Poland the Statue of Liberty has been portrayed holding a pack of Winchester cigarettes.
"What's really ironic about all this is that New York State is a national leaders in tobacco control and prevention," says Reality Check adult coordinator Orit Lender. She adds that, "just a few months ago, Mayor Bloomberg passed a no-smoking ordinance in NYC and our state government has made a commitment to reduce tobacco use among New York state teens and adults by appropriating funds from the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) toward tobacco prevention and cessation programs."
"The United States is willing to help so many people across the world, like AIDS victims in Africa," says Harvey. "I just don't understand why we don't do anything about the 1.1 billion smokers across the globe and the five million people that tobacco kills annually worldwide."
For more information on Reality Check, please visit www.realitycheckny.com or call Orit Lender at (718) 356-8113 ext.126. For visuals on international tobacco advertisements and corresponding companies or more information on Essential Action, please visit http://www.essentialaction.org/tobacco/photos/nyc or call Anna White at 202-387-8030 or 805-453-5505 (cell).
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Action is a corporate accountability group based in Washington, DC. Its
Global Partnerships for Tobacco Control program, of which Reality Check
is a member, links tobacco control groups in the U.S. and Canada with
groups in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Eastern/Central Europe and
facilitates their working on meaningful cross-border projects and campaigns.
Currently there are more than 350 groups in over 100 countries and 40
U.S. states involved.