EPA Launches Media Campaign To Protect Children From Asthma Attacks

March 14, 2001

Stepping up the fight against childhood asthma, EPA and the Advertising Council today launched a national media drive, “The Childhood Asthma Campaign,” alerting parents to indoor environmental triggers of asthma attacks, such as mold and secondhand smoke from cigarettes.

“Childhood asthma is an epidemic in this country and many parents feel helpless to protect their children from attacks,” said EPA Administrator Christie Whitman. “So EPA and the Ad Council are launching an aggressive nationwide campaign to teach parents that asthma attacks are not inevitable and that there are things they can do to help prevent these dangerous incidents.”

Asthma afflicts an estimated 17 million Americans, including five million children. Since 1980, the biggest growth in asthma cases has been in children under five. The disease is a leading cause of childhood hospitalizations and school absenteeism, accounting for 100,000 child hospital visits a year, at a cost of almost $2 billion, and causing 10 million school days missed each year.

Over the next three years, EPA will contribute $3 million dollars to a campaign of public service announcements in English and Spanish for television, radio, newspapers, buses and subways. The goal of the drive is to heighten awareness of asthma as a chronic disease and to educate the public about how attacks are triggered and how to prevent them.

The Advertising Council is a private, nonprofit organization, which has been the leading producer of public service communication programs in the United States since 1942.

For more information on asthma, please call the joint EPA-Ad Council hotline at 1-866-NOATTACKS or visit these websites: www.epa.gov/iaq/asthma or www.noattacks.org