Sink It! N.J. Nets Basketball Team Tells Youths that Smoking is an Offensive Foul

"Smoking is an offensive foul" NJ Nets tobacco-control media and education program

In December 1996, the National Basketball Association's New Jersey Nets (Nets) mounted an educational and media campaign aimed at reducing smoking among youth.

Key Results

  • The Nets used stadium signage, public address announcements, radio and television Public Service Announcements, and printed materials to disseminate anti-tobacco messages to fans during their 1997 and 1998 seasons.

  • In partnership with New Jersey Breathes, a statewide tobacco-free coalition and an RWJF SmokeLess States® national program grantee, the Nets extended their efforts into communities and schools throughout New Jersey and enlisted the support of young people through an incentive program that rewarded their tobacco-free awareness projects with free tickets to Nets home games.

  • The team became a model for other professional sports franchises interested in replicating its anti-tobacco campaign.

  • In addition, As a result of the relationship built with the Nets through these grants, RWJF, through its Sports Philanthropy project (Grant ID#s 037939 and 038221), was instrumental in helping the Nets establish the New Jersey Nets Foundation, which is focusing its efforts on at-risk youth in urban communities in New Jersey.