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New ad against tobacco companies for targeting teens

Anti-smoking promoters state tobacco companies are targeting children therefore activists are answering in kind with a new ad promotion because smoking rates continuously raise in the city. NY1's Cheryl Wills filed the following report.

Smoking Teenager

The most recent statistics from the Health Department demonstrates 16.1% of New Yorkers are smokers, which is equal to over one million individuals, and that number has been increasing progressively for a couple of years.

In December, Action on Smoking and Health or ASH launched a new video to identify how tobacco companies is constantly on the targeting teenagers, which activists say is their key target.

"One of the most significant points the tobacco companies tries to accomplish is market toward youngsters and that's our biggest worry," says Shana Narula of Action on Smoking and Health.

The year 2014 records the 50th birthday of the Surgeon General's landmark report connecting smoking with heart disease and lung cancer. But in the years since, anti-smoking promoters say Big Tobacco has been unremitting in their goal to encourage teenagers to start smoking.

"The tobacco companies invest around $1 million dollars per hour on advertising in the United States," Narula mentions.

And they point out researches indicate 95% of all smoking people start smoking when they're in their early 20s.

"The younger they are and the more affected they are when they're youngsters, the more likely they're going to start smoking," Narula says.

New York City's 16.1 smoking rate is well below the countrywide smoking rate of 18%. ASH is one of the most well-known tobacco control agencies in the nation, and although the not for profit has restricted resources, they say they will struggle with the billion dollar tobacco companies when teenagers are at issue.