Chicago – Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn was joined by Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan, Sec. of State Jesse White, Ck. Cty. Pres. John Stroger and Ald. Todd Stroger on Tuesday, May 25, 2004, to call on Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. to immediately halt their KOOL MIXX Campaign that targets inner-city youth to smoke cigarettes.
“We must prevent youth smoking and I applaud Attorney General Lisa Madigan for enforcing the Master Settlement Agreement, a written contract that strictly forbids Brown & Williamson from marketing its tobacco products to kids,” said Quinn.
The 1998 Master Settlement Agreement is a legal contract established between 46 states and involves the four largest tobacco companies in the United States. The agreement settled state suits to recover costs associated with treating smoking-related illness and barred tobacco manufacturers from targeting the youth through advertising and promotions, outdoor advertising and event sponsorship.
The National Association of Attorneys General has demanded that Brown and Williamson immediately halt their KOOL MIXX Campaign and pull all KOOL MIXX products from vendor shelves. The campaign includes sponsoring DJ competitions in major cities, selling collectible cigarette packs featuring hip-hop images, distributing free hip-hop CD-ROM disks in youth magazines featuring Kool cigarette products and selling colorful radios with their cigarettes at a cheaper price than buying ordinary Kool cigarettes.
“The KOOL MIXX Campaign is a destructive marketing campaign that increases our children’s risk of getting emphysema, cancer and asthma,” said Quinn.
According to tobaccofreekids.org, 282,887 kids have become regular smokers in 2004 and an estimated 90, 524 kids will die prematurely from their addiction. A recent study by lungusa.org found that 34 percent of teens begin smoking as a result of tobacco company promotional activities and that each day, 6,000 children under 18 years of age smoke their first cigarette.
In August, 2001, Quinn and Dr. Quentin Young walked across the state from the Mississippi River to Lake Michigan on behalf of the Bernardin Amendment, which calls for decent health care for every Illinoisan.