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Visual Culture and Health Posters

Sniffing Correction Fluid Can Stop Your Heart
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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: History of Medicine Division. Prints and Photographs Collection
This image may also be accessed from the Images from the History of Medicine (IHM).
IHM Order Number: C00181
Texas Prevention Partnership
Reproduced with permission of the National Inhalant Prevention Coalition.
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
Inhalation Exposure
Public Health
Visual Culture and Public Health Keywords:
Chemical Exposure
Exhibit Category:
Environmental Health
Metadata Record Sniffing Markers Destroys Your Brain (1991) jpg (707,153 Bytes)
Metadata Record Sniffing Spray Paint Destroys Your Lungs (1991) jpg (803,597 Bytes)
Metadata Record We'd Like to Introduce You to the Cocaine of the 90s. Your Child May Already Be Familiar (1994) jpg (1,085,122 Bytes)
Metadata Record Unless You Know What to Look for, the Signs of Sniffing Inhalants Are Almost Invisible (1994) jpg (1,276,975 Bytes)
Metadata Record This Ad Will Tell You Things about Sniffing Inhalants Your Child Probably Won't (1994) jpg (1,577,551 Bytes)
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Document Type:
Slides (photographs)
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