Sep. 26 1996
Washington, DC - One out of every three attendees at rodeos is between the ages of 12 and 17, according to newly-released data made available today by the CAMPAIGN FOR TOBACCO-FREE KIDS. The data supports a provision in the Food and Drug Administration rule announced Aug. 23 by President Clinton that will prohibit the use of tobacco product brand names from sponsoring rodeos and other sporting events. The federal policy aims to cut teen tobacco use in half in seven years. "We don’t want kids confusing rodeo riders with the Marlboro Man," says Matthew Myers, executive vice president of the CAMPAIGN. "These new figures show how many children will be protected from appealing tobacco images at rodeos." Last December Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT) introduced a bill to prohibit the FDA from regulating events sponsored by the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association. The legislation was co-sponsored by Senators Larry Craig (R-ID), Harry Reid (D-NV), Craig Thomas (R-WY), Richard Bryan (D-NV), James Inhofe (R-OK), Byron Dorgan (D-ND), Kent Conrad (D-ND), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Max Baucus (D-MT) and Larry Pressler (R-SD). Myers today sent letters to the Senators asking them to reconsider their positions and help protect children from tobacco advertising at rodeos. Senator Pressler recently announced his support of the FDA rule. Last week Senator Dorgan was quoted in the Grand Forks Herald as saying, "If it takes regulation to stop it (youth tobacco use), I support that regulation," and a spokesman for Senator Conrad said the Senator would support the FDA rule. Rodeo fans between the ages of 12-17 made up almost 21 percent of the television audience and more than half (55.6 percent) of the radio listeners, according to the 1994 data collected by Simmons Market Research Bureau, Inc. The data are based upon a syndicated survey of a national probability sample with a confidence factor of plus or minus five percent. While the survey did not measure children under age 12, it is assumed that a sizable portion of this age group also attend rodeos. The CAMPAIGN FOR TOBACCO-FREE KIDS is the largest private initiative ever undertaken to decrease youth tobacco use in the United States. Its mandate is to focus the nation's attention and action on keeping tobacco marketing from seducing children, and making tobacco less accessible to kids. The campaign's 100+ member organizations include the American Medical Association, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, American Cancer Society, American Academy of Pediatrics, National Association of Elementary School Principals, National Association of Secondary School Principals and National PTA.