Perhaps taking a cue from Joe Camel, a cartoon duck is the new spokescharacter for the first tobacco prevention advertising campaign developed with funds from the Texas tobacco settlement.

Sporting a backwards-placed baseball cap, the duck appears in radio, television and animated segments on the Internet (at www.ducktexas.com) in a campaign that rolled out Sept. 25.

Tuerff-Davis EnviroMedia in Austin, Texas, created the fowl after winning the Texas Department of Health’s review for the$4-5 million account earlier this year. The duck concept emerged from discussions with 100 teens at a tobacco prevention workshop.

Spanish- and English-language versions of the campaign are being tested in a pilot program that targets four markets in East Texas. Following legislative approval, the advertising effort may roll out next year to other parts of the state.

In the meantime, remember this campaign truism: “The duck doesn’t lie. Tobacco just isn’t cool.”