Legacy Tackles Secondhand Smoke

A child poised at the top of a mountain surveys the landscape before him as he dreams of a future as a world-class skier. But he knows his dream won’t come true if he is stopped by the dangers of secondhand smoke.

That’s the message behind the first TV spot from the American Legacy Foundation that focuses on secondhand smoke.

The work is part of Legacy’s ongoing annual $100 million anti-smoking campaign, and it is the second new commercial for the foundation this year. (The first aired during the Super Bowl.) The ad, which was cre ated by Arnold in Boston, addresses health problems, such as childhood asthma, that are attributed to secondhand smoke.

The spot opens on a serious note. “If you protect me from secondhand smoke, I will be less likely to be one of the 300,000 kids to suffer from smoking-related asthma attacks every year,” the child says. “If you protect me from secondhand smoke, I can grow up to be anything I want,” he continues. “Like a world-class skier …”

The voiceover pauses, and as the child imagines his future, the image switches to that of a professional skier whizzing down a slope.

The commercial ends with a lighthearted touch. As the skier wipes out at the end of his run, the child says, “… or maybe a lawyer.” The tagline reads, “Smoke-free environments breed champions.”

“Secondhand smoke causes count less childhood illnesses,” said Cheryl Healton, Leg acy’s pres ident and CEO. “It’s also deadly, taking nearly 50,000 American lives each year.”

The 30-second spot breaks today on ABC and will run on CBS, MSNBC and other network news programs. It will also air during prime time on NBC during the Olympics on Friday.

“It is meant to be inspirational and celebrate, in a down-to-earth way, the potential in all of us,” said Lisa Unsworth, Arnold man aging partner. “In this case, it reminds us that the greatest dream can be realized if you take care of yourself.”