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Health and Family Services Cabinet
Sports and Tobacco Don’t Mix

Press Release Date:  Thursday, September 13, 2007  
Contact Information:  Gwenda Bond or Beth Crace Fisher,(502) 564-6786  

  UK and UofL Athletes Take Part in Tobacco Prevention Campaign

University of Kentucky and University of Louisville athletes, cheerleaders and mascots are working to spread the Get Healthy Kentucky message - sports and tobacco don’t mix.
Representatives from both universities jumped at the chance to take part in a new campaign to improve the lives of Kentuckians and will appear in marketing materials to discourage tobacco use among young people.

“When I designed Get Healthy Kentucky, my statewide wellness initiative, I knew that reducing the number of young people who use tobacco was imperative for improving the long-term health of our commonwealth,” said Governor Ernie Fletcher. “These student athletes are helping us send this powerful message about the negative impact tobacco has on health.”

Both universities have agreed to appear in marketing materials to promote Kentucky’s tobacco prevention and cessation initiatives, spreading the message that tobacco use deters athletic success. The campaign builds on guidelines already set forth by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) prohibiting the use of tobacco products by student-athletes and all game personnel during practice and competition.

“We want young people to know that if they want to succeed in sports, cigarettes and smokeless tobacco will only hold them back,” said Chris L. Corbin, executive director of the Get Healthy Kentucky program. “If you want to compete on the same level as athletes at UK and UofL, stay away from tobacco.”

The materials carry the message “Sports and Tobacco Don’t Mix” and feature a variety of athletes from football, basketball, baseball, soccer and track and field. Mascots, cheerleaders and dancers also appear in the materials.

The Sports and Tobacco Don’t Mix campaign includes posters, signs, bookmarks and billboards located in Lexington, Louisville, Owensboro, Paducah, Northern Kentucky, Ashland, Bowling Green and London. Materials will be distributed to Get Healthy Kentucky members and can be obtained at numerous events sponsored by the program.

To obtain a Sports and Tobacco Don’t Mix bookmark, visit any Kentucky public library or the following YMCAs: Frankfort YMCA, YMCA of Central Kentucky (Lexington), YMCA of Greater Louisville, Wilderness Trace Family YMCA, Campbell County YMCA, Owensboro Family YMCA and the Ashland Area YMCA.

If bookmarks aren’t available, be sure to keep checking. Posters also will be available at these locations soon.

Kentuckians also have the opportunity to get involved in the campaign by snapping a photograph of the Sports and Tobacco Don’t Mix billboards for publication on the GHK Web site, All submissions will be entered for a chance to win two tickets to a UofL or UK men’s basketball game during the 2007-08 season.

Photos will only be accepted electronically and should be e-mailed to Photos should be in .jpg format and should not exceed four megabytes. 



Last Updated 9/13/2007