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Graffiti Art Tells The TRUTH About Tobacco

News
posted: 01/23/2008

Salt Lake City — The Utah Department of Health (UDOH) is taking The TRUTH about tobacco to high-risk youth at Brighton Ski Resort with colorful urban art at The TRUTH Terrain Park. As part of a new sponsorship, The TRUTH is offering skiers and boarders discounted tickets and prizes through http://www.warriorsagainsttobacco.com target=_blank> warriorsagainsttobacco.com .

The TRUTH commissioned internationally-known graffiti artists to paint the terrain park's rails and wall ride with the theme "See through the smoke, don't be manipulated. The artwork depicts images of corporate devils seducing others to smoke, burning money to represent the high costs of smoking and the satisfaction that can come from saying "no to tobacco.

"Brighton is a major smoking hangout, says Chelsey Wilson, snowboarder and youth activist against tobacco. "I think the artwork will really grab the attention of high-risk kids.

Representatives of The TRUTH campaign will be at Brighton every Monday night all season long. Skiers may print a half-priced night skiing ticket from the warriorsagainsttobacco.com Web site for use on Monday nights. By taking part in an anti-tobacco activity, youth may enter to win an anti-tobacco snowboard designed by renowned artist Nate Williams. New signage will be posted near the lift lines reminding skiers and boarders that smoking is not allowed.

Andy Nelson and Woodrow Lash are the artists behind The TRUTH graffiti. Nelson and Lash are battling the perception that all graffiti is vandalism by tackling public service projects. Nelson, who has degrees in Art and Business, is pleased to add The TRUTH to his impressive résumé of murals painted in China, Germany, Chile, Argentina and across the U.S. He compares the act of spray painting to dancing, saying "(the art form) requires me to share a rhythm with the aerosol can.

"Smoking is a dirty habit and so being invited to paint an anti-tobacco mural was a privilege, says Nelson. "The best part was coming up with concepts to illustrate the fact that smoking is basically the act of paying someone to help you kill yourself.

The TRUTH campaign has been taking its anti-smoking message to Utah youth for 10 years. Today, Utah high school students are three times less likely to smoke than their peers nationwide, and 38 percent fewer high school students smoke today than did during the campaign's early days in 1999. Still, every day in the U.S. more than 1,500 young people become regular smokers. About half will eventually die from a tobacco-related disease. Ninety percent of people start smoking before the age of 19 and most teens who smoke say they would not have started if they could do it over again. Nearly 190,000 Utahns continue to smoke cigarettes, and more than 1,100 Utahns die annually as a result of their own smoking.

For more information visit http://www.warriorsagainsttobacco.com target=_blank> warriorsagainsttobacco.com .

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