Perhaps you were as shocked as I was (and a few readers, if you go by my e-mail) over this ad from the anti-smoking group, Clearway Minnesota that is appearing on area TV stations.
Check out the first kid. That’s a kid who knows how to smoke.
What’s the deal with having kids smoke in a TV ad to discourage kids from smoking?
“None of the kids were smoking,” Mike Sheldon, the senior communication manager for Clearway Minnesota, told me this afternoon. “We used fog machines for some of the scenes and it’s computer generated.”
The reaction to the ad, presumably, is just what the anti-smoking group wanted.
“We want policymakers to know, youth smoking is still a problem,” Sheldon said. About 77,000 kids smoke, he says, a number which he acknowledges is trending down but which is “unacceptably high.”
“It’s easy to say that because statewide smoking is done, this is something we can cross off the list,” he said.
The ad is one of three the group is currently airing as part of its Still A Problem campaign.