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18 Northtown Drive  Jackson, MS 39211  p: 601.977.9200  f: 601.977.9257

How our RAT helped reduce smoking by 75%

Maris, West & Baker has handled Mississippi’s tobacco prevention and cessation accounts since 1998. When we first started, youth tobacco use had reached an all-time high in Mississippi with 23% of public middle school students reporting current smoking.

We created the RAT (Reject All Tobacco) campaign and its mascot, Terrance The Rat, as a way to inoculate kids, K-6, against the lure of tobacco products. Since the campaign’s inception, we’ve created commercials, a website, web videos, classroom materials and even a song-and-dance program that performs at schools throughout the state.

Toy Soldiers

Candy Factory

Pufferville

Robot

Webisode 1

RAT Website

Website

Reject All Tobacco

Mississippi Department of Health

Results

Current smoking has decreased 72% since 1998, which translates to 16,587 fewer young smokers. There’s evidence that the message is sticking, too. Current smoking among public high school students has decreased 37% over the same period. At peak funding, Terrance the Rat enjoyed awareness levels that were on par with Ronald McDonald and Mickey Mouse.