Groups use death of Jennings to tout smoking hazards

NEW YORK: Peter Jennings' death last week from lung cancer, along with Dana Reeve's diagnosis with the disease, allowed several health groups to aggressively educate reporters and the public.

NEW YORK: Peter Jennings' death last week from lung cancer, along with Dana Reeve's diagnosis with the disease, allowed several health groups to aggressively educate reporters and the public.

The American Lung Association (ALA) worked with Fenton Communications on outreach efforts in the hours after Jennings' death, providing statistics on the disease and resources for more information.

Just three days later, there had been a 30% increase in calls to ALA's toll-free number and a 50% increase in membership to its Freedom from Smoking online program.

The American Legacy Foundation, which partnered with Good Morning America soon after Jennings' diagnosis for the recent Stop Smoking Challenge, continued its media outreach after his death.

Julie Cartwright, VP of communications, said the foundation had been providing information to reporters and fielding requests from major outlets.

Jennings was a smoker. Reeve, however, was not.

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