Students bring ‘truth’ ads to life

By Shannon Smith

Television advertisements for the anti-smoking campaign “truth” have been catching viewers’ attention since 2000. Colleges Against Cancer (CAC), a registered student organization, will simulate one of these ads on the Quad today to demonstrate this message to students.

The event is part of the Great American Smoke Out, a nationally recognized day that CAC has extended into a week of educational events about the dangers of smoking.

Angela Hancock, sophomore in applied life studies, is part of the committee in charge of the event.

“The theme is, ‘Every eight seconds, someone in the world dies from a tobacco-related illness,'” Hancock said. “Our theme was modeled after a ‘truth’ ad.”

The “truth” ad on television used a large digital clock. Every time it reached eight seconds, a buzzer sounded and a person passing by on the street was handed out an orange dot, Hancock said.

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“We thought it would make more of an impact to actually see people simulating ‘dying’ than just hand out orange dots,” Hancock said.

In CAC’s version of the ad, each of the nearly 95 participants will have a smoking advertisement pinned to them.

“Our goal is to get empty cigarette boxes and magazine ads that deal with smoking. The participants, pinned with these, will act as walking advertisements for smoking,” Hancock said.

The group plans to have an air horn sound every eight seconds, and a person will drop to symbolize a death from tobacco.

The event is scheduled to take place during the 10-minute passing period from 12:50 to 1 p.m. on the Quad side of the Union.

Anne Marcellus, freshman in education, is part of the CAC committee that planned the anti-smoking event. She said she became involved with CAC because of the personal struggle her family and friends have faced with the cancer.

“Our main goal is to make people aware of the dangers of smoking,” Marcellus said.

The American Cancer Society stated that in 2000, about 4.9 million smoking-related, premature deaths occurred throughout the world. The organization also recently released a data sheet titled “Cancer Facts and Figures 2004” that said smoking is the most preventable cause of death in today’s society.

CAC has been actively educating all week. Activities included a smoke-free bar night at Brother’s Bar and Grill on Monday. The organization also has been visiting local middle schools to explain the dangers of smoking.

Members of CAC will continue to have a booth set up on the Quad through the end of the week to distribute fliers about the harmful effects of smoking.

“We become more educated with every project we work on,” Marcellus said.

CAC wants to make an impact with their “truth” simulation, she said, and hopes the event will catch the attention of students walking through the Quad.

“You always hear about statistics, but actually seeing it makes a bigger impact on someone and their decisions,” Marcellus said.