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State Questions: Ad No. 1: Pro-tobacco tax

By Carmel Perez Snyder Published: October 15, 2004
Editor's note: This is the second in a series analyzing television campaign advertisements regarding State Question 713.

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What the ad has: Voiceover saying: "State Question 713 will be near the bottom of our election ballot in November. But it's the most important vote we'll make this year.

"Why? Because 600,000 Oklahomans don't have health insurance and can't afford medical care.

"Without State Question 713, emergency and trauma care all over Oklahoma may collapse.

"If we don't pass the tobacco tax health care initiative even more of our children will die early from smoking.

"State Question 713 will improve health and health care in Oklahoma. State Question 713 -- lives depend on it."

The ad shows: Faces of people representing Oklahomans looking directly into the camera. The bottom right of the screen reads "endorsed by" and flashes the logo of the American Medical Association, The American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association -- groups pushing for the tobacco tax increase.

Analysis: The ad, paid for by the Citizens for a Healthy Oklahoma, aims to place the focus on Oklahoma's health care needs and place less emphasis on the tobacco tax increase. The number of uninsured Oklahomans listed in the ad is a modest estimate. According to U.S. Census data on health insurance coverage, 20 percent of Oklahomans -- more than 700,000 -- did not have insurance coverage in 2003. The ad focuses on Gov. Brad Henry's health care initiative that would use money from the tobacco excise tax increase to pay for a cancer center, enhance the state's trauma system and help provide insurance for those Oklahomans without medical coverage.

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