Would This Image Keep You From Smoking?


  • Saint Louis County Department of Health
No? Okay. But what if you saw it 26 times in one day? Then 52 the next? And 78 times by day three -- all the way up to 130 images by day five?

The Saint Louis County Department of Health's youth anti-tobacco initiative, Air-O-Dynamic, hopes the Grim Reaper images appearing this week in St. Louis area high-schools will encourage students to keep away from tobacco. Today through Friday at eleven high-schools (including Webster Groves, University City, Riverview Gardens and Nerinx Hall) 26 new posters (right) will go up in school hallways, representing the number of Missourians said to die of tobacco-related deaths each day.

But will the messages land their mark among among all the other Halloween hullabaloo this week?

"We think so," says Pat Washington, spokeswoman for the Department of Health. "The idea of the posters appealed to the students as a way to impact their peers. This week is not just about spooks and spirits."

October 23-30 is national Red Ribbon Week for drug prevention. Washington says the Grim Reaper campaign will culminate on Friday with students asked to pledge not to smoke and join Air-O-Dynamic to campaign against tobacco. Air-O-Dynamic is one of several new anti-smoking initiatives launched following St. Louis County receiving $7.5 million federal grant for smoking cessation and prevention.