This poster is part of a series in a very different kind of public health campaign inspired by toxic chemicals. Created by
the Texas Prevention Partnership (TPP), which was founded in 1990 by the Entertainment Industries Council and Harvey Weiss,
the posters address the alarming trend of "huffing"--the inhaling of CFCs, Freon, household cleaning products, and
other toxic chemicals for a quick high. At the time, inhalant abuse was gaining popularity at a staggering rate in the state
of Texas and surrounding areas. Following a massive campaign that included the distribution of bilingual posters and radio
and television public service announcements, Texas saw an immediate decline in the number of deaths from inhalant abuse, and
between 1990 and 1994 there was a reduction of more than 32 percent in elementary school inhalant use and a reduction of about
20 percent at the high school level. This work inspired TPP to found and lead the National Inhalant Prevention Coalition.
This series of posters warns adolescents about the serious dangers of inhalants. The posters use black and white photographs
of representatives from the target audience, a common motif in public health advertisements. The inhalant medium, such as
correction fluid, markers, or spray paints, is symbolically used to whiteout, color, or coat the part of the body damaged
by the fumes. In this dimly lighted photograph, for example, the adolescent boy is distinguished by a white spot on his sweatshirt,
which symbolizes the accompanying admonition, "Sniffing correction fluid can stop your heart." The caption at the
bottom of the poster warns, "If you sniff to get high, you're inhaling poisons that do definite damage. So stop. Before
your heart does."
Number of Image Pages:
1 (737,426 Bytes)
Texas Prevention Partnership
Original Repository: The History of Medicine Division. Prints and Photographs Collection.
This image may also be accessed from the Images from the History of Medicine (IHM).