Teenage girls help Fleishman craft nonsmoking message in Texas

AUSTIN, TX: Fleishman-Hillard recruited teenage girls to launch a public service campaign last week, aimed at preventing their peers from smoking.

AUSTIN, TX: Fleishman-Hillard recruited teenage girls to launch a public service campaign last week, aimed at preventing their peers from smoking.

Last year, the Texas Cancer Council (TCC) approved a plan proposed by Fleishman to mount the effort with GENaustin, a nonprofit girls' empowerment organization.

An advisory panel of GENaustin girls developed the campaign. Fleishman recruited the American Cancer Society and other partners to educate the girls' group about tobacco issues, said Fleishman's Austin GM Aili Jokela.

The project launched on the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids' "Kick Butts Day." Girls could sign anti-tobacco banners at school, fill out pledge cards, or visit a website to formalize no-smoking vows. GENaustin reps presented one signed banner to Austin Mayor Gus Garcia.

TCC funds more than 30 cancer-prevention initiatives and posts public notices letting organizations know funding for such programs is available, explained TCC executive director Mickey Jacobs. Most proposals come from nonprofits, universities, and government agencies, making Fleishman's application and selection unusual.

"This one is the first of its kind," Jacobs said.

TCC requires its partners to make in-kind contributions, so while state funding will cover some of the program's cost, most of Fleishman's work is pro bono, Jokela explained.

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