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Press Release

New Law On Smoke-Free Doorways The Subject Of PSA On Cable Networks

September 10, 2004

A law that prohibits smoking within 20 feet of the doorways to public buildings is the topic of a new public service announcement produced by the county Tobacco Prevention Program and Contra Costa Television.

With advertising time purchased through a state grant, the new public service announcement (PSA) is one of three that the Tobacco Prevention Program (TPP) has placed on local cable stations throughout September.

"We conducted focus groups of smokers and non-smokers, and we found that many people are not aware of the law, which took effect in January," said Denice Dennis, TPP manager. "We decided to dramatize that in the new PSA."

The 30-second spot shows a smoker apparently unaware of the law and irritating several people before realizing that he needs to move 20 feet from the doorway.

Meanwhile, a voice explains the new law, noting, "The Surgeon General reports that secondhand smoke contains more than 50 cancer causing agents, including asbestos."

"That is the point of the law: to protect people using government and public buildings from the hazards of secondhand smoke," said Dennis. "We think the PSA makes that point clearly."

Dennis said the TPP used a state tobacco enforcement grant to buy time on major cable networks broadcasting throughout Contra Costa County and some of Alameda County.

The TPP also bought time for two other PSAs, including one called "My Mom's My Hero" about not smoking indoors around children, which was produced by the Environmental Protection Agency and two other organizations.

The third spot was produced two years ago by TPP and Contra Costa Television and has previously aired locally. It is about a program by the Office of the Sheriff of Contra Costa to discourage merchants from selling tobacco to people younger than 18, which is illegal in California.

Both of the locally produced PSAs tell viewers to report violations of tobacco laws by calling the Tobacco Prevention Project at 925-313-6214. The Project is part of Contra Costa Health Services' Public Health Division in the Community Wellness & Prevention Program.

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Press Contact
  • Denice Dennis
  • 925-313-6825