Just Say No : ただノーと言おう

Just Say No” was an advertising campaign, part of the U.S. “War on Drugs“, prevalent during the 1980s and early 1990s, to discourage children from engaging in illegal recreational drug use by offering various ways of saying no. The slogan was created and championed by First Lady Nancy Reagan during her husband‘s presidency.


The campaign emerged from a substance abuse prevention program supported by the National Institutes of Health, pioneered in the 1970s by University of Houston Social Psychology Professor Richard I. Evans. Evans promoted a social inoculation model, which included teaching student skills to resist peer pressure and other social influences. The campaign involved University projects done by students across the nation. Jordan Zimmerman, then a student at USF, and later an advertising entrepreneur, won the campaign. The anti-drug movement was among the resistance skills recommended in response to low peer pressure, and Nancy Reagan‘s larger campaign proved to be a useful dissemination of this social inoculation strategy.

Nancy Reagan first became involved during a campaign trip in 1980 to Daytop Village, New York. She recalls feeling impressed by a need to educate the youth about drugs and drug abuse. Upon her husband‘s election to the presidency, she returned to Daytop Village and outlined how she wished to help educate the youth. She stated in 1981 that her best role would be to bring awareness about the dangers of drug abuse:

Understanding what drugs can do to your children, understanding peer pressure and understanding why they turn to drugs is… the first step in solving the problem.


The “Just Say No” slogan was the creation of Robert Cox and David Cantor, advertising executives at the New York office of Needham, Harper & Steers/USA in the early 1980s.

In 1982, the phrase “Just Say No” first emerged when Nancy Reagan was visiting Longfellow Elementary School in Oakland, California. When asked by a schoolgirl what to do if she was offered drugs, the First Lady responded: “Just say no.” Just Say No club organizations within schools and school-run anti-drug programs soon became common, in which young people were making pacts not to experiment with drugs.

When asked about her efforts in the campaign, Nancy Reagan said: “If you can save just one child, it’s worth it.” She traveled throughout the United States and several other nations, totaling over 250,000 miles (400,000 km). Nancy Reagan visited drug rehabilitation centers and abuse prevention programs; with the media attention that the first lady receives, she appeared on television talk shows, recorded public service announcements, and wrote guest articles. By the autumn of 1985, she had appeared on 23 talk shows, co-hosted an October 1983 episode of Good Morning America, and starred in a two-hour PBS documentary on drug abuse.

The campaign and the phrase “Just Say No” made their way into popular American culture when TV shows like Diff’rent Strokes and Punky Brewster produced episodes centered on the campaign. In 1983, Nancy Reagan appeared as herself in the television programs Dynasty and Diff’rent Strokes to garner support for the anti-drug campaign. She participated in a 1985 rock music video “Stop the Madness” as well. La Toya Jackson became spokesperson for the campaign in 1987 and recorded a song titled “Just Say No” with British hit producers Stock/Aitken/Waterman.

In 1985, Nancy Reagan expanded the campaign internationally. She invited the First Ladies of thirty various nations to the White House in Washington, D.C. for a conference entitled the “First Ladies Conference on Drug Abuse”. She later became the first First Lady invited to address the United Nations.

She enlisted the help of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America, Kiwanis Club International, and the National Federation of Parents for a Drug-Free Youth to promote the cause; the Kiwanis put up over 2000 billboards with Nancy Reagan’s likeness and the slogan. Over 5000 Just Say No clubs were founded in schools and youth organizations in the United States and abroad. Many clubs and organizations remain in operation around the country, where they aim to educate children and teenagers about the effects of drugs.

Just Say No crossed over to the United Kingdom in the 1980s, where it was popularized by the BBC’s 1986 “Drugwatch” campaign, which revolved around a heroin-addiction story line in the popular children’s TV drama serial Grange Hill. The cast’s cover of the original U.S. campaign song, with an added rap, reached the UK top ten. The death of Anna Wood in Sydney, Australia and British teen Leah Betts from Essex in the mid-1990s sparked a media firestorm across both the UK and Australia over the use of illegal drugs. Wood’s parents even released her school photograph on a badge with the saying “Just say no to drugs” placed on it to warn society on the dangers of illicit drug use. The photograph was widely circulated in the media. A photo of Betts in a coma in her hospital bed was also circulated in British media. Both teenagers died due to water intoxication as they drank too much water after ingesting ecstasy.


Nancy Reagan‘s related efforts increased public awareness of drug use, but a direct relationship between reduced drug use and the Just Say No campaign cannot be established. Although the use and abuse of illegal recreational drugs significantly declined during the Reagan presidency, this may be a spurious correlation: a 2009 analysis of 20 controlled studies on enrollment in one of the most popular “Just Say No” programs, DARE, showed no effect on drug use.

The campaign did draw some criticism. Nancy Reagan‘s approach to promoting drug awareness was labeled simplistic by critics who argued that the solution was reduced to a catch phrase. In fact, two studies suggested that enrollees in DARE-like programs were actually more likely to use alcohol and cigarettes. Critics have also suggested that inflamed fears from “Just Say No” exacerbated mass incarceration and prevented youth from receiving accurate information about dealing with drug abuse. Critics also think that “Just Say No” contributed towards the well seasoned stigma about people who use drugs being labelled as “bad”, and the stigma toward those people who are addicted to drugs being labelled as making a cognizant amoral choice to engage in drug use.

ただノーと言おう 」(Just Say No)とは、アメリカ合衆国を中心に展開されたドラッグ撲滅の広告キャンペーンである。ノーと言える様々な方法を提供することで、子供たちが気晴らしのためにドラッグを使用するのを思いとどまらせることを目指した。



Just Say No」の広告キャンペーンはアメリカ合衆国にあるヒューストン大学の社会心理学教授であるリチャード・E・エヴァンスが1970年代に開始してアメリカ国立衛生研究所に支持された薬物乱用防止プログラムから発足した。エヴァンスの社会免疫モデルには、仲間からの強要やそのほかの社会的影響に抵抗するためのスキルを向上させる指導も含まれる。アメリカ全国で学生が行った大学のプロジェクトもキャンペーンに関係していた。



Just Say No」はナンシー・レーガンがカリフォルニア州オークランド市内のロングフェロー小学校を訪れたときに最初に使用された。1982年に、女子児童からドラッグを提供された場合にどういった対処をすればいいかと聞かれた彼女は「Just Say No」(ただノーと言おう)と返答した。学校内の「Just Say No」のクラブ組織や反ドラッグプログラムの学校運営はその後すぐに一般的になり、若者たちはこういった学校でドラッグの誘惑に負けない誓いを立てた。



1988年に発売されたラトーヤ・ジャクソンのアルバム『ラトーヤ』には「Just Say No」が収録されている。


ガールスカウト・アメリカ連盟の「キワニスクラブ・インターナショナル」や「ナショナル・フェデレーション・オブ・ペアレンツ・フォー・ア・ドラッグフリー・ユース」(のちのナショナル・ファミリー・パートナーシップ)もレーガンの大義を推進するために協力した。キワニスはナンシー・レーガンの肖像とスローガンが書かれた2,000以上の看板を設置した。アメリカ国内外の5,000以上にのぼる学校や青少年団体で「Just Say No」のクラブが設立された。多くのクラブや組織が現在もまだアメリカ全土で活動を続けており、幼児やティーンエイジャーにドラッグの影響について教育することを目的としている。

Just Say No」は1986年のBBCによる「Drugwatch」キャンペーンを契機に、海を越えてイギリスまで波及した。これは子ども向けの人気テレビドラマ『グランジヒル』における、ヘロイン依存症のストーリーを中心に展開した。出演者たちがオリジナルのアメリカのキャンペーンソングにラップを追加してカバーした「Just Say No」はイギリスのトップ10にランクインした。


ナンシー・レーガンの一連の努力はドラッグ使用についての国民の意識を向上させ、ロナルド・レーガンのアメリカ合衆国大統領任期中に気晴らしのためのドラッグ使用または乱用が大幅に減少したものの、ドラッグの使用の減少と「Just Say No」キャンペーンの直接的な関係を確立することができなかった。ミシガン大学の社会調査研究所が行った調査によると、違法薬物を使用する若者が1980年代に減少した。マリファナを使用する高校の最上級生の割合が1978年に50.1%だったのが、1987年に36.1%に、1991年には12%にまで低下した。他のドラッグを使用する生徒の割合も同様に減少した。幻覚剤の使用は11%から6%に、コカインの使用は12%から10%に、ヘロインの使用は1%から0.5%に低下した。キャンペーンに対する批判は少なからず存在し、一部の評論家はドラッグに対する意識を向上させるためのナンシー・レーガンの取り組みについて、不完全なキャッチフレーズが原因で解決策が単純化されてしまったとの烙印を押した。

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