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 "Code Blue" Public Service Campaign Addresses Number-One Cancer Killer: Lung Cancer

09/13/06
Public Service Campaign Addresses Number-One Cancer Killer: Lung Cancer

September 13, 2006

American Legacy Foundation®, National Association of Broadcasters Launch PSAs Including Former President George H.W. Bush

WASHINGTON, DC — A new national public service campaign, Code Blue for Lung Cancer, launched today on Capitol Hill to call attention to the nation’s number-one cancer killer. The partnership between the American Legacy Foundation® and the National Association of Broadcasters spreads the life-saving message that early detection, quitting smoking and the search for a cure will help make lung cancer history.

The Code Blue campaign is a comprehensive national effort to raise awareness about preventing lung cancer and increasing survival rates for those struggling with it. Code Blue includes a documentary that explores the devastating impact of lung cancer on four families and discusses how to reduce lung cancer deaths, primarily through early diagnosis and by quitting smoking. The campaign, in both English and Spanish, also includes radio and television public service announcements, a guidebook for local broadcasters and an accompanying online component (www.americanlegacy.org/codeblue).

Code Blue is NAB’s first public service campaign to be produced in high definition and will be provided to local television stations nationwide for broadcast during Lung Cancer Awareness Month this November. The documentary was produced and directed by Academy-Award® winner Gerardine Wurzburg, with State of the Art Inc.

“In continuing broadcasters’ proud tradition of community service, NAB and local broadcasters nationwide are proud to support this lifesaving effort to educate the public about lung cancer,” said NAB President and CEO David K. Rehr.

Foundation CEO and President Dr. Cheryl Healton said the campaign will help reduce the stigma associated with lung cancer, since 85 percent of those diagnosed with it are current or former smokers, whom many perceive as having had the power to avoid a lung cancer diagnosis if only they had been able to quit.

"No one deserves to have lung cancer. We're hopeful that the stories told in Code Blue will help all of us better understand America's number-one cancer killer,” Healton said. “If we are to beat it, we must learn how to limit our lung cancer risks by increasing adult smoking cessation. Then, our best efforts as a nation must focus on early detection, increasing survival rates and ultimately finding a cure."

Code Blue public service announcements include former President George H.W. Bush, who says, “Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States. It's a national tragedy killing thousands each year, leaving behind devastated families. Cigarette smoking causes most cases of lung cancer. If you or a loved one smoke, get the help you need to quit now.”

Former President Bush has been a long-time champion with his wife Barbara, in the fight against cancer after losing one of their children, Robin Bush, to leukemia in 1953. Former President Bush co-chairs C-Change, formerly the National Dialogue on Cancer.

More than 30 members of Congress served as honorary co-chairs for Code Blue. They included Rep. Joe Baca (D-Calif.), Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.), Rep. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.), Rep. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), Rep. Dianne DeGette, (D-Colo.), Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Rep. Vernon Ehlers (R-Mich.), Rep. Phil English (R-Pa.), Rep. Gene Green (D-Texas), Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.), Rep. Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.), Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.), Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.), Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.), Rep. Bobby Jindal (R-La.), Rep. Nancy Johnson (R-Conn.), Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.), Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.), Rep. Sue Kelly (R-N.Y.), Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Calif.), Rep. Sue Myrick (R-N.C.), Rep. Michael McNulty (D-N.Y.), Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), Rep. Steven Rothman (D-N.J.), Rep. Vic Snyder (D-Ariz.), Rep. Greg Walden (D-Ore.) and Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.).

More information about lung cancer is being made available online at www.americanlegacy.org/codeblue, as well as through resource partners including the American Cancer Society, American Lung Association and the Lung Cancer Alliance. The Code Blue Web site offers details for the public and the news media interested in localized stories about the disease for Lung Cancer Awareness Month in November.

The American Legacy Foundation® is dedicated to building a world where young people reject tobacco and anyone can quit. Located in Washington, D.C., the foundation develops programs that address the health effects of tobacco use through grants, technical assistance and training, youth activism, strategic partnerships, counter-marketing and grassroots marketing campaigns, public relations, and outreach to populations disproportionately affected by the toll of tobacco. The foundation’s national programs include Great Start®, a Priority Populations Initiative, and truth®. The American Legacy Foundation® was created as a result of the November 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) reached between attorneys general from 46 states, five U.S. territories and the tobacco industry. Visit www.americanlegacy.org.

The National Association of Broadcasters is a trade association that advocates on behalf of more than 8,300 free, local radio and television stations and also broadcast networks before Congress, the Federal Communications Commission and the Courts. Information about NAB can be found at www.nab.org.

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