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    Pennsylvania Launches 'Check It' Anti-Tobacco Ad Campaign

    Teens, adults should 'expect to be carded' when buying tobacco.

    HARRISBURG, Pa. -- A new statewide advertising campaign is reminding Pennsylvanians that they will be asked for identification if they want to buy tobacco products and appear to be
    younger than 27.

    The Pennsylvania Department of Health's "Check It" campaign wants minors to "expect to be carded." It also asks adults to assume responsibility for helping to keep tobacco out of the hands of youths.

    "While this new campaign uses humor to reach its target audiences, the message is very serious," said state Health Secretary Dr. Calvin B. Johnson. "Through this ad campaign, we are reemphasizing Pennsylvania's position on tobacco cessation and prevention.

    "We can all play a role by reminding store clerks to check ID," Johnson added. "We also want Pennsylvanians to know that it is socially acceptable to speak up and ask a clerk to 'check it,' and we're counting on them to do it."

    While teens are being asked for identification more frequently -- compliance is at an all-time high of 93 percent in Pennsylvania -- many young customers are still not being carded at places such as convenience stores.

    Almost 90 percent of adults who smoke started as teens, underscoring the importance of keeping tobacco out of the hands of this age group.

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