Citizens of NYC are more supportive of a smoke-free workplace law than their own beloved Yankees – such a headline grabbed the attention of even the international participants in the room. Nicole Veatch, Director of Primary Research at CTFK, captivated the audience’s interest this morning by illustrating creative ways of using polling data to spread tobacco control messages to the media. Veatch also presented a case study from Nebraska where polls were used to show that even a republican governor could raise taxes and get reelected. Stressing that it was important to develop a strategy around a specific issue and then “test test test” those messages, Veatch drove her point home.
Dr. Toker Erguder of Turkey followed Veatch’s message with a rundown of the current tobacco control measures in his country. The Turkish website, Havani Koru, made everyone grin as tons of smiley faces floated by on the main page suggesting that clean air is so cheerful. Others were tickled to see Turkey was able to get both their top super model and a famous football player to endorse their smoke-free campaign.
Comments were a plenty including Dr. Dinesh Bhatnagar from India on the need for enforcement and the potential use of air monitoring in all countries including Turkey. Daria Khaltourina, of Russia emphasized the need to learn from your polls – if the polls show lack of support you might need to do some more education on the issue.
Whether it was baseball or football, Veatch’s and Toker’s message was a homerun hit among the fans today.
-Lisa Hepp, Institute for Global Tobacco Control