This month, ClearWay Minnesota launched a new campaign to shed light on the hidden harms of tobacco addiction. The campaign highlights teen tobacco use, the smoking-related costs borne by all Minnesotans, and Big Tobacco’s youth-focused marketing tactics – all under the theme of See What You’ve Been Missing.
“The tobacco industry is still causing tremendous harm, but it’s more hidden from view than it used to be,” said Michael Sheldon, ClearWay Minnesota’s Director of Marketing. “Through this campaign, ClearWay Minnesota hopes to bring attention to how the tobacco industry targets our youth and costs all of us money, even Minnesotans who don’t smoke.”
While Minnesota has made significant progress in the last two decades to reduce tobacco’s harm, tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease. New tobacco products also threaten to disrupt efforts to reduce youth smoking. For the first time in 17 years, the rate of youth tobacco use rose in Minnesota in 2017, due to large increases in teens using e-cigarettes and flavored tobacco products.
The See What You’ve Been Missing campaign began as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced new proposals to curb youth e-cigarette addiction, which the agency calls an epidemic. Through powerful ads, See What You’ve Been Missing calls attention to rising youth tobacco rates and to the dangers of e-cigarettes and flavored tobacco products.
The campaign website, MissingItMN.org, includes helpful information for parents and adults about e-cigarettes and what the latest products look like, signs a child might be vaping, a smoking-related cost calculator and information on tobacco industry marketing. The campaign launched November 12 and includes TV, radio, digital and out-of-home advertising, paid social and search, and an interactive website. The campaign will run through late 2019. Haberman is the creative partner for the campaign.
“In the face of rising health care costs and the new threat of youth e-cigarette use, Minnesotans need to re-commit to making tobacco prevention a public health priority,” Sheldon added. “Big Tobacco is still up to their old tricks, but is using new tactics. We hope highlighting the tobacco industry’s addictive and costly schemes will bring urgency to the tobacco issues we face, so Minnesotans will take action to prevent a generation of youth nicotine addiction.”
You can view the new ads below.