Every day 1300 people in the United States die from tobacco use and secondhand smoke. 1300 . . . have you ever thought about how many that actually is? Project 1300 is a memorial that does just that. It creates a visual image that makes 1300 more than just a number. Project 1300 shows the daily impact Big Tobacco has on our country. Brainstorm with your friends for an unforgettable item (like shoes) and then go about collecting 1300 of them to represent the daily casualties to tobacco. Next you want to obtain permission to display your memorial from your local law enforcement, park services, or school officials, depending upon your location.
Remember, 1300 is a lot. Allow plenty of time to collect and set up your display. It helps to start planning six weeks (or more) in advance.
6–8 weeks before the date:
- Set a date and location. Get permission from the proper authorities (school, local law enforcement, or park services).
- Identify your message and your audience.
- Decide on what you are going to display and how you are going to collect them.
4–6 weeks before the date:
- Confirm your logistics – permit, item collections, etc.
- Design flyers to announce your event at meetings or within your community.
2–3 weeks before the date:
- Draft media materials.
- Purchase supplies needed.
1 week before the date:
- Confirm logistics.
- Send out media materials and make follow-up calls.
- Finalize all visuals (posters, handouts, display layout, etc.).
Day of event:
- Talk with the public and the media. (Keep a list of media contacts who attended so you can follow up with them and find out if they will be running a story.)
Words of Wisdom:
- Budget . . . 1300 is a lot! Ask for donations. Some (like shoes) can be given to a shelter afterwards. Don’t forget to plan for item storage and transportation.
- Put the display in a public place so everyone can see it.
- Make it eye-catching.
- Add a fact about tobacco use to each object to educate others.
- Sidewalk tagging with chalk is a great way to promote your event.
- Be creative. You could display 1300 photos of shoes, 1300 hats, 1300 gloves . . . the possibilities are endless. You could also focus just on Nebraska and do 6 instead.
Alternatives – This activism is about making a statistic more than just a number. It brings that number to life. You can use other statistics instead of 1300.
- 6, the number of Nebraskans who die each day from tobacco-related diseases.
- 50, the number of people who die each hour in the United States from tobacco-related diseases.
- 900, the tobacco industry makes 6.3 trillion cigarettes every year. That’s more than 900 cigarettes for every man, woman, and child in the world.
- 250, the number of chemicals in secondhand smoke that are known to be toxic or carcinogenic.