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State takes antismoking message to Super Bowl
The advertising campaign is funded by money from a settlement with tobacco companies.
Published February 2, 2008
TALLAHASSEE - Florida's new effort to fight smoking through advertising starts Sunday with one of the most coveted ad spots, the Super Bowl.
The 30-second ad hits the viewer in the emotions: showing a kid in the back yard throwing a ball, but with nobody there to catch it and throw it back.
"Each year, smoking leaves 31,000 children fatherless," the ad says as the sullen kid has to go pick up the ball.
The ad cost about $500,000 and will air in all Florida markets during the Super Bowl.
Nationally, more than 400,000 people a year die from smoking-related diseases.
Florida's antismoking campaign is paid for with money from the state's lawsuit settlement with tobacco companies.
The companies agreed in 1997 to pay the state billions of dollars over 25 years as reimbursement for tax money spent on treating sick smokers.
But in 2006, Florida voters changed the constitution to require that the state spend a certain amount on an antismoking program that includes marketing.
This year, the state has set aside $58-million.
Other memorable national antismoking ads have run in the past during the Super Bowl, including the "Shards o' Glass Freeze Pop" commercial. It featured an executive explaining that the company's product - Popsicles with glass sticking out of them - wasn't safe, and that only adults should use them.
Another that aired during the 2001 Super Bowl featured Rick Stoddard, icily telling viewers how his wife Marie died at 46 from lung cancer, and lamenting that it hadn't occurred to him years ago that 23 could be middle age.