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#CATmageddon: How smoking could make cat videos a thing of the past

Imagine a world without cat videos. 

No Aaron’s Animals. No Keyboard Cat. No Lil Bub. 

#CATmageddon, a new ad from the truth® campaign, which will premiere during the 58th Annual Grammy Awards, warns of just such a world.

With more than 1.1 million cat channels on YouTube, the threat of an Internet without cat videos underscores the urgency of the tobacco epidemic for a pet-loving generation connected by strong social networks. The humorous ad carries a serious message: dogs and cats who live in a smoking household are twice as likely to get cancer.

“Teens understand the health effects of smoking, but may not appreciate how smoking impacts their daily lives,” said Robin Koval, Truth Initiative CEO and President. “Smoking affects just about everything teens care about – relationships, the environment, and even animals – in immediate and unexpected ways. And the effects will be felt whether or not they personally smoke.”

To prevent #CATmageddon, truth is teaming up with Petco, a leading pet specialty retailer that focuses on nurturing powerful relationships between people and pets, to help spread the word and elevate the issue of tobacco and the impact that it can have on pets. Dr. Whitney Miller, Director of Veterinary Medicine for Petco says: “truth is sending a powerful message to animal lovers of all kinds, smokers or not, and we’re proud to get behind it.”

While teen cigarette smoking rates are down to a historic low of 7 percent, compared to 23 percent in 2000 when the first truth ads premiered, one in three youth smokers will eventually die from tobacco-related diseases.

With the #CATmageddon campaign, truth continues to use the truth about tobacco to engage teens to help end tobacco use. truth’s “Left Swipe ‘Dat”, which premiered at the 2015 Grammys, introduced the surprising impact that tobacco has on another teen passion point: dating and relationships. Both ads are part of the Finish It campaign kicked off by truth in 2014.