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April 24, 1996

New Efforts to Keep Adolescents Tobacco-Free

JAMA. 1996;275(16):1218-1219. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530400006002

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EFFORTS to discourage young people from taking up smoking are about to get a major impetus. A new organization, the Center for Tobacco-Free Kids, is being formed to focus its energies on changing the social environment and to attempt to influence public policies regarding the use of tobacco by teens.

"We expect to be fully operational by June," said Matthew Myers, a Washington, DC, lawyer and well-known antitobacco activist, who will be the group's executive vice president. "We will work nationwide with a broad range of health education and community organizations to develop and implement antitobacco strategies at all levels of government."

The new center will be headed by William Novelli, of the public relations firm of Porter, Novelli, who will oversee its media and communications efforts. In the past, the firm has conducted educational campaigns for such groups as the National Cancer Institute and National Heart, Lung, and Blood