dvocates for S
obacco consists of volunteers working in a community-based coalition.
focuses on empowering New Mexicans, particularly minority and youth populations,
to live a healthy, non-abusive lifestyle. The coalition was founded in September 1995. Each day, the
tobacco industry addicts 3,000 new "customers." Over 80% of these victims are teens and
children -- those too innocent to comprehend the power of nicotine addiction.
For decades, the tobacco industry lied about the cancer-causing and disease-inducing nature of smoking and oral tobacco.
They deceived the entire world
about the intensely addictive nature of nicotine. The tobacco industry not only surpressed their own findings,
but willfully discredited the results of scientists and medical professionals who discovered the
health hazards from smoking and powerful addictive properties of nicotine.
Today, the tobacco industry continues
their infamous legacy by employing some of the world's most sophisticated advertising techniques, methods of
image creation, and promotional activity in an effort to capture new victims -- and continue their
"culture of greed" corporate philosophy.
is dedicated to ending this corruption of our youth, political system and
social values by implementing the following objectives:
- Dismantling the tobacco industry as it exists today;
- Achieving a 100% ban on tobacco advertising;
- Eradicating access to tobacco by our children and young people;
- Fully informing youth about the intensely addictive properties of nicotine;
- Advocating self-efficacy through education efforts;
- Championing clean indoor air for all citizens; and
- Increasing the legal age for tobacco use to 21 years.
MASCOT Members Urge Albuquerque SmokeFree Legislation -- Spring 2002
SmokeFree Air Advocacy
While the tobacco industry still works to cast doubt about the harmful effects
of secondhand smoke, the evidence is clear -- particularly in respect to the
negative health consequences to babies, children and the maturing lungs of young people.
The tobacco industry successfully hid the medical truth about smoking for nearly 40 years;
today they have been forced to admit their deception. MASCOT continues their work to educate
citizens about the dangers of tobacco smoke to smokers and nonsmokers alike.
Media Awareness Program
Until our society achieves a total ban on tobacco advertising, MASCOT works to educate
young people about the hidden messaging and subliminal imagery contained in tobacco-product
and cigarette advertising. Philip Morris, makers of Marlboro, and RJ Reynold,
makers of Camel, have engineered some of the most-powerful
and seductive marketing campaigns known to the world. Children, teens and young adults
are inadequately prepared to defend themselves from this sophisticated messaging. MASCOT
works to provide all Americans with the tools to survive this predatory environment.
Blocking the Attorneys General MSA
In 1998, MASCOT members rallied to oppose the proposed Master Settlement
Agreement (MSA) crafted by the tobacco industry as a result of the multi-state
legal action brought by the 46-states' attorneys general. The position of these
MASCOT members is that there can be no settlement with the tobacco industry as
it exists today. Our political leaders were both too willing, and hasty, to trade
the lives of Americans in return for tobacco money. MASCOT members today continue their opposition
to the MSA -- and pledge not to accept any money nor participate in any program that derives
from the agreement.
Kick Butts Day
In April 1998, MASCOT initiated a rally against the tobacco industry by partnering with Teens Against
Tobacco Clubs from Albuquerque and Rio Rancho middle schools. The Hinkle Family Fun
Center in Albuquerque hosted this historic event. Supporters included Albuquerque City Councilor Sam Bregman
and Bernalillo County Commissioner Ken Sanchez.
Action to Eliminate Tobacco and Alcohol Billboards
In 1997, MASCOT led a city-wide cry for an end to tobacco and alcohol billboard advertising within
the City of Albuquerque. Despite voluminous citizen participation and a University of New Mexico
public opinion study
documenting the overwhelming support by a majority of Albuquerque voters, the initiative failed.
Yet, the message rang clear: Albuquerqueans want to clean up their city and they
will not tolerate irresponsible business activities.
"Smoking's Cool, Yeah Right!"
In one of the coalition's initial activities, MASCOT creatively directed and produced
a 1996 youth-directed billboard and bumper sticker campaign in Albuquerque. Five billboards displayed
the pro-health advertisements, targeted for middle school students. The review of the initiative
demonstrated the effectiveness of programs that used the talents of young people to further the
message that smoking -- and addiction -- are NOT cool.