NY groups battle passive smoking

ALBANY, NY: The Coalition for a Healthy New York, a group of

private health organizations, plans a February launch for a three-year,

$290,000 PR campaign addressing the dangers of secondhand


The coalition has picked Eric Mower & Associates to handle the


Mower was selected over an out-of-state agency because of its statewide

network of offices, said Russell Sciandra, director of the Center for a

Tobacco Free New York, which is overseeing the campaign for the


Money for the campaign is coming from a private grant from the Robert

Wood Johnson Foundation, and is not related to the national tobacco

settlement money being used by several states in their antismoking


The PR initiatives will focus on communicating the dangers of secondhand

smoke, as well as on getting both smokers and nonsmokers to change their

behavior when it comes to secondhand smoke. The campaign will aim to get

more nonsmokers to either protest secondhand smoke, or to stop

patronizing establishments where secondhand smoke is present. "We want

to shift the spectrum of behavior," Sciandra said.

The effort will also attempt to make smokers increasingly aware of the

dangers of secondhand smoke and, hopefully, get them to not smoke around


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