Helping to create a tobacco-free generation
Jul 23, 2014
It's within our reach to create the first tobacco-free generation.
But we can't do it without the involvement of youth.
Last week, we welcomed more than 30 youth activists from across the country to Washington, DC, for our 11th Youth Advocacy Symposium — a series of skill-building workshops on leadership, advocacy and communications.
Continue reading Youth Leaders Sharpen Skills for Fight against Tobacco
Marketing campaign has been found to target teens
Jul 15, 2014
Despite international media criticism and widespread calls from public health groups and government officials to end its "Be Marlboro" marketing campaign, Philip Morris International is doubling down and expanding its youth-oriented campaign around the globe.
A March 2014 report by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and other public health groups exposed how the campaign uses themes and images sure to appeal to youth. With the slogan "Don’t be a Maybe. Be Marlboro," the ads feature images of attractive young people falling in love, playing music, partying, and taking risks.
Continue reading Despite Outrage, Philip Morris International Expands Global “Be Marlboro” Campaign
Ad campaign has spread to more than 50 countries
Jun 16, 2014
A new documentary from the BBC calls out Philip Morris International for its global marketing campaign promoting Marlboro cigarettes that has been found to target youth. The BBC report finds the "Be Marlboro" ad campaign is "aimed unashamedly at young people."
A report released in March by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and other public health groups exposed how the "Be Marlboro" ads uses themes and images sure to appeal to youth. The ads have spread to more than 50 countries despite being banned by a German court for targeting teens.
Continue reading BBC Report: Philip Morris’ Be Marlboro Campaign “Aimed Unashamedly at Young People”
Latest blu eCigs video seems awfully youth-oriented
May 21, 2014
Manufacturers of electronic cigarettes keep saying they don’t market to kids. They claim their target audience is current smokers. So how, exactly, does a video called “How to Twerk: A helpful how-to for would-be booty-shakers” fit into that strategy?
The latest addition to blu e-cigarettes’ YouTube page – and to their website – features entertainer Big Freedia teaching cheering young adults how to shake their stuff. The twerking dance craze became nationally notorious thanks to Miley Cyrus’ performance at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards.
Continue reading Adult smokers love… twerking?
Youth Advocates of the Year Take on Big Tobacco
May 20, 2014
Last week, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids honored our Youth Advocates of the Year, extraordinary young leaders who are working to make tobacco history and create a tobacco-free generation.
We proudly honored them at our 18th annual Youth Advocates of the Year Awards Gala in Washington, D.C., attended by more than 400 public health, political, civic and business leaders.
Continue reading Honoring Young Leaders in the Fight Against Tobacco
Health groups, government officials join effort to end shameful campaign
May 8, 2014
Youth advocates sent a loud and clear message to Philip Morris International this week: We won’t be Marlboro.
Protesting outside Philip Morris’ annual shareholders’ meeting in New York City on Wednesday, the youth called on the tobacco giant to stop targeting kids and immediately end its “Be Marlboro” campaign that is running in more than 50 countries.
Inside the meeting, health advocates presented Philip Morris with an open letter demanding an end to this ad campaign for best-selling Marlboro cigarettes. It was signed by over 250 civil society organizations and representatives of more than 25 governments.
Continue reading Youth to Philip Morris International: Stop Targeting Kids with “Be Marlboro” Campaign
Philip Morris International ads found to target youth
Apr 21, 2014
Last month, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and other public health groups issued a report exposing how Philip Morris International (PMI) is conducting a global marketing campaign for its best-selling Marlboro cigarettes that uses themes and images sure to appeal to youth.
The “Be Marlboro” campaign has spread to more than 50 countries despite being banned by a German court for targeting teens. The campaign associates “being Marlboro” with falling in love, playing music, partying, engaging in adventure sports and other activities popular with youth.
Continue reading Creative Outrage: Enter our Contest to Expose the Truth about the “Be Marlboro” Campaign
Youth voices heard on Kick Butts Day
Apr 3, 2014
On Kick Butts Day, March 19, thousands of youth and public health advocates across the country stood up to Big Tobacco. In events in their schools and rallies at state capitols, they spoke out against the industry’s deceptive marketing – and their voices were heard.
Why is Kick Butts Day important? We couldn’t say it better than these supporters, whose messages were amplified in newspapers, on TV and in blogs.
Continue reading Youth voices heard on Kick Butts Day
Is it an ad for Marlboro cigarettes or teen fashion? You decide
Mar 12, 2014
As revealed by a report issued today by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and other international public health groups, Philip Morris International (PMI) is conducting a global marketing campaign for its best-selling Marlboro cigarettes – called “Be Marlboro” – that uses themes and images sure to appeal to youth.
The campaign has spread to more than 50 countries despite being banned by a German court for targeting teens and generating similar complaints in other countries.
“Be Marlboro” ads feature attractive young people partying, falling in love, playing music and engaging in adventure sports such as snowboarding and surfing – in short, things youth around the world aspire to do.
Continue reading Take the Marlboro Teen Fashion Quiz
Announcing winners of Kicking Butts on Film Contest
Mar 10, 2014
Youth across America will stand up to Big Tobacco on Kick Butts Day, just nine days away on March 19, 2014.
In the fall, our Kick Butts Day team invited youth across the country to submit original public service announcements as part of our annual Kicking Butts on Film PSA Contest.
We received dozens of creative entries from all over the U.S. These videos showed how tobacco continues to effect America’s youth in their daily lives – and how many of them are galvanized to continue the fight.
Continue reading Lights, Camera, Fight Tobacco!
New ads portray real costs of tobacco use
Feb 11, 2014
The Real Cost, the FDA’s new public education campaign aimed at preventing youth tobacco use, launches nationally today across multiple media platforms including TV, radio, print and online. It will run for at least a year.
Daniel Giuffra, one of our 2013 Youth Advocates of the Year, represented his peers at the Feb. 4 launch event in Washington, D.C. Now a freshman at Washington University in St. Louis, Daniel considers himself “a teenager who wants to help other teens understand the risks of tobacco use.”
Continue reading Youth Advocate Helps Launch FDA Media Campaign
News stories expose industry’s marketing to kids
Jan 29, 2014
Indonesia and Africa are among Big Tobacco’s top targets as the industry increasingly targets low- and middle-income countries in its insatiable quest for profit, no matter the cost in lives and health.
Recent news stories document both the enormous challenges posed by the tobacco epidemic in these countries and regions – and the growing call for strong action to rein in the tobacco industry and save lives.
Continue reading Fighting Big Tobacco in Indonesia and Africa
Hooking kids with candy flavors
Oct 31, 2013
They come in flavors like wild apple, berry blend, watermelon and chocolate.
They may sound like Halloween treats, but in fact they’re Big Tobacco’s tricks for getting kids hooked on their products.
Tobacco companies peddle sweet-flavored cigars and smokeless tobacco products that are flavored and colorfully packaged just like candy. Sometimes sugary snacks and their tobacco imitators even share counter space in convenience stores.
Continue reading Big Tobacco’s Tricks Not Treats
It’s more evidence that tobacco prevention programs work
Oct 15, 2013
Showing once again that well-funded, sustained tobacco prevention programs work, Alaska reported this week that the state’s high school smoking rate fell to just 10.6 percent this year – a 40 percent drop since 2007.
Alaska’s new rate is far below the national high school smoking rate of 18.1 percent (based on the most recent equivalent national survey, the 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Survey).
Continue reading Alaska Reports Big Drop in High School Smoking
More evidence that cigarette tax is a win-win-win
Jul 31, 2013
Early learning advocates today released results of a national survey showing strong support across party lines for a plan to expand early childhood education programs with funding from a 94-cent increase in the federal cigarette tax.
Continue reading Poll: Strong Support for Early Childhood Education Funded by Cigarette Tax
Youth Leaders Sharpen Skills for Fight against Tobacco
Jul 22, 2013
About 90 percent of adult smokers begin smoking at or before age 18. As a result, youth play an important role in the fight against tobacco by encouraging their peers to stay tobacco-free, exposing the harmful marketing of the tobacco industry and urging elected leaders to protect America’s kids from tobacco.
Continue reading Youth Leaders Sharpen Skills for Fight against Tobacco
Company’s actions contradict CEO’s claim
May 14, 2013
At last week’s annual meeting of Philip Morris International shareholders in New York City, CEO Louis Camilleri answered a question from a youth tobacco control advocate by denying that the company markets to kids, saying “That’s just not true. It’s a fable.”
Continue reading Really Philip Morris? You don’t market to kids?
Deadline: January 31
Jan 18, 2013
With just two months to go until Kick Butts Day, we are gearing up for the biggest day to fight Big Tobacco. But the battle lasts more than just one day. Our Youth Advocates of the Year Awards recognize youth from across the country who are doing an outstanding job of taking on tobacco year-round.
Continue reading Youth Advocates of the Year Awards – Apply Today
A tobacco-free generation within reach
Dec 19, 2012
There’s great news in a new government survey released today: Youth smoking rates declined significantly in 2012, falling to record lows for all three grades surveyed – grades 8, 10 and 12.
Continue reading U.S. Youth Smoking Rates Fall to Record Lows
State's decision called "stunning shortsightedness"
Dec 17, 2012
Recently, we released a report showing that the states this year will collect a record $25.7 billion in revenue from the 1998 tobacco settlement and tobacco taxes, but will spend less than two percent of it — $459.5 million — on programs to prevent kids from smoking and help smokers quit. That’s less than two pennies of every dollar in tobacco revenue to fight tobacco use.
Continue reading Zero Dollars for Prevention Risks More Teen Smokers in North Carolina
Congressional meetings highlight latest tobacco marketing tactics
Jul 20, 2012
Across the United States, youth are playing critical roles in the fight against tobacco. They’re encouraging their peers to stay tobacco-free, taking on the tobacco industry and its deceptive marketing and urging elected officials to take strong action to protect America’s kids from tobacco.
Continue reading Youth Leaders Sharpen Skills for Fight Against Tobacco
Kids get smokers’ attention in shocking video
Jul 19, 2012
A new smoking cessation campaign is making waves in Thailand and around the world, spreading a powerful and effective message to quit smoking.
Continue reading Ad Campaign in Thailand Sends Powerful Message to Quit Smoking
Raising taxes on tobacco products will protect kids and save lives
May 23, 2012
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley has signed a life-saving increase in the state's tax on little cigars and smokeless tobacco, products that the tobacco industry is marketing heavily in a bid to entice youth to use tobacco.
Lower tax rates on cigars and smokeless tobacco compared to cigarettes have helped fuel an increase in teen use of these products. While cigarette smoking among Maryland high school students has decreased nearly 40 percent since 2000, cigar use has increased by more than 11 percent during the same period.
Continue reading Maryland Leads with First Tobacco Tax Hike of 2012
Utah Advocate helps launch 'It's All About the Packaging" campaign; fights Big Tobacco targeting LGBT youth
Gabe Glissmeyer, 2012 National Youth Advocate of the Year
May 18, 2012
I am so honored to have received this award from the Campaign for Tobacco-free Kids, and for the opportunity to travel to Washington D.C. to accept it. It’s also been very exciting to be able to work with my fellow youth advocates, who have each done amazing things in their communities to prevent tobacco use and help save lives.
Continue reading Meet Our 2012 National Youth Advocate of the Year: Gabe Glissmeyer
Camilleri downplays tobacco’s toll, dismisses youth concerns at shareholders’ meeting
May 11, 2012
Confronted by activists – including youth who traveled to New York City to attend Philip Morris International’s annual shareholders meeting this week – Philip Morris CEO Louis Camilleri again played down the deadly consequences of his company’s products and claimed the company acts responsibly when the evidence shows otherwise.
At last year’s shareholders meeting, Camilleri minimized how addictive cigarettes truly are, stating that “it is not that hard to quit” (he backtracked under a torrent of criticism).
Continue reading A “Responsible” Tobacco Company? Philip Morris International’s Actions Contradict CEO’s Claim
Elected officials must get it, too
Apr 24, 2012
Kids say the darndest things — and some of the smartest, too.
When Linda Kelsch’s third grade students at Linton Elementary School in Linton, North Dakota, were asked to express their opinions about a community issue, they chose to write about a proposal before the City Council to require smoke-free public places and work places.
Continue reading The Kids Get It: Secondhand Smoke Kills
Enforcement is key to new smokeless tobacco limits
Apr 4, 2012
Major League Baseball players who take the field tonight and tomorrow for the opening games of the 2012 season must do so without a tin of tobacco in their uniform pockets — one of the ground-breaking restrictions on smokeless tobacco included in the new contract.
Continue reading Baseball Season Opens Tonight with Historic Restrictions on Tobacco
From Hawaii to New Hampshire, to military bases and beyond, kids take action against Big Tobacco
Mar 21, 2012
Thousands of young people at more than 1,100 events around the country – and even overseas – are taking action against tobacco today, the 17th annual Kick Butts Day.
In all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and on U.S. military bases at home and abroad, youth have planned creative, high-impact activities to promote proven solutions to tobacco use.
Continue reading Today is Kick Butts Day!
Loophole keeps kids working in tobacco industry and out of school
Mar 20, 2012
Sagira Ansari suffers from coughs, colds, fever and persistent headaches. But her ailments do not shorten her workday or slow her as she drops flakes of tobacco into square-cut leaves, rolls them deftly and ties the ends of a bidi cigarette with twists of red thread.
"I can't play around," she laments in a story by the Associated Press.
At age 11, Sagira, is surrounded by dust as she works eight-hour shifts producing bidis, a popular form of tobacco smoked mostly by men in India — but made by women and children.
Continue reading Children Toil in Poverty to Produce India’s Bidi Cigarettes
Kick Butts Day Rally at Georgia State Capitol
Mar 12, 2012
With just nine days to go before Kick Butts Day, youth around the country are organizing high-impact events that highlight the dangers of tobacco use and show public officials how important it is to support policies that reduce tobacco use and saves lives. The fight against tobacco is as urgent as ever following a new U.S. Surgeon General’s report that found youth tobacco use is still a “pediatric epidemic.”
At the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta, teens and health advocates will hold a rally to speak out about tobacco’s terrible toll on the state and the benefits of increasing the cigarette tax by $1. The “Bump it Up A Buck” Coalition is telling lawmakers the measure would reduce smoking, improve the health of all Georgians and generate more than $340 million in new revenue each year.
Continue reading Bump It Up a Buck to Save Lives
Tobacco industry spends over a million dollars an hour on marketing that hooks kids
Mar 8, 2012
Smoking among American youth is a “pediatric epidemic” that isn’t occurring by accident: It’s directly caused by tobacco industry marketing and promotion that entices teenagers to start smoking and encourages their progression to becoming regular smokers.
Continue reading Surgeon General’s Report Shows Youth Smoking is “Not an Accident”
Hundreds tell lawmakers to enact policies to protect kids and save lives
Feb 24, 2012
What does people power look like?
It looks like 900 middle and high school students thronging the state capitol in Charleston, West Virginia on Tobacco-Free Day to tell lawmakers to do more to reduce smoking and prevent kids from starting.
Continue reading West Virginia Youth Power Propels Tobacco-Free Day at State Capitol
More than 700 Kick Butts Day events already registered – where’s yours?
Feb 16, 2012
With just five weeks to go before Kick Butts Day, March 21, more than 700 events around the country and on military bases overseas already are registered for a day of activism against Big Tobacco.
Have you registered your event?
Continue reading Get on the Map!
Smoke-free laws influence smokers to keep smoking in check
Feb 7, 2012
The percentage of teens exposed to secondhand smoke in cars has declined significantly, yet more than a fifth of non-smoking middle and high school students are exposed to smoke in vehicles, putting them at risk of disease including acute respiratory and ear infections, delayed lung growth and more severe asthma attacks.
Continue reading Despite Progress, Teens Still Exposed to Secondhand Smoke in Cars
Youth advocate tells FDA panel of dangerous confusion on dissolvable products
Jan 20, 2012
Brightly colored packages for products labeled "fresh," "wintergreen" and "java" just aren't what they seem, youth tobacco-control advocate Judy Hou says.
"They're these little packages that you can stick in your pocket," says Hou. "They look like Tic Tacs."
In fact, they're dissolvable tobacco products, and the subject of Food and Drug Administration hearings this week on whether these new smokeless products and the marketing used to promote them appeal to kids and pose a public health threat.
Continue reading Mints, Gum, Candy — or Tobacco?
Get ready now to take on Big Tobacco
Jan 13, 2012
The turn of the calendar means Kick Butts Day 2012 will be here before you know it! March 21 is only weeks away, so start planning now to make your Kick Butts Day event bigger and better than ever.
Continue reading New Year Means Kick Butts Day is Coming Soon
But new industry tactics to hook kids include smokeless tobacco and "little cigars"
Dec 14, 2011
Cigarette smoking among American youth has dropped to record lows, with just 11.7 percent of kids in grades 8, 10 and 12 reporting that they smoked in the past month.
The annual Monitoring the Future survey released today shows that since youth smoking rates peaked in the mid-1990s, they have dropped dramatically — by 71 percent among eighth graders, 61 percent among students in 10th grade and 49 percent among those in 12th grade.
Continue reading Teen Cigarette Smoking Drops to Record Lows
Lax enforcement of ban on sales to kids drives epidemic among young people
Dec 1, 2011
BBC World's innovative series The Health Show will broadcast a report this weekend examining India's daunting problem of tobacco use among children and its shocking consequences for health.
Young people in India commonly use gutka, a carcinogenic cocktail of flavored smokeless tobacco and additives. Extremely cheap and easily purchased by children and teenagers, an estimated 5 million kids are addicted to the product. It's responsible for 90 percent of oral cancer cases in India.
Continue reading BBC World Investigates Why India is the Oral Cancer Capital of the World
Youth can Kick Butts on film and radio
Nov 7, 2011
Are you an aspiring filmmaker or broadcaster? Or perhaps just a passionate youth advocate with a camera or microphone who is ready to take on Big Tobacco?
The 4th annual Kicking Butts on Film (… and Radio!) contest is underway.
Continue reading Lights, Camera, Let’s Take Action …
Flavored cigars, free samples and hip-hop imagery target urban youth
Oct 21, 2011
A California-based company is promoting flavored cigars called "Hoodwraps" to inner-city youth, using names such as "Da Bomb Blueberry" and "Swag Berry," and even handing out free samples in downtown Indianapolis.
Trendsettah USA is marketing the cigars with "street teams" — inner-city youth recruited to give out the samples. The slogan for Hoodwraps: "So Hood. So Good." The aggressive promotion has angered local tobacco-control advocates, who note that urban youth in Indiana are more likely to begin smoking at an earlier age than the national average.
Continue reading ‘Hoodwraps’ Don’t Belong in the Neighborhood
Help us honor outstanding young people who are working to save lives
Oct 14, 2011
It's that time of year again — nominations for the 2012 Youth Advocates of the Year (YAYA) Awards are open!
Continue reading It’s Time to Nominate Top Youth Advocates in Tobacco Control
Companies in search of new smokers can't whitewash their true motives
Oct 7, 2011
Altria and altruism just don't mix.
Neither does the tobacco giant's financial sponsorship of an "Adolescent Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Symposium" in Nashville next month.
Continue reading Big Tobacco’s Latest Deception: We Support Youth Tobacco Prevention
Legacy’s truth® video turns the tables to show youth how addiction harms
Sep 14, 2011
Philip Morris International CEO Louis Camilleri told company shareholders in New York recently that it's "not that hard to quit" smoking. But the words of a real smoker, sick and wheezing, speak truth to tobacco industry power.
In a new video from Legacy’s truth® campaign, "Steve" speaks through a tracheotomy hole, coughs and wheezes as he sets the story straight: "Having my vocal cords removed definitely helped me quit smoking…and talking."
Continue reading Smoker Talks truth® to Philip Morris International CEO’s Claim That It’s “not that hard to quit”
Company documents show how PMI targets local brand to youth
Sep 12, 2011
With Indonesia in the grip of what it calls an "uncontrolled tobacco epidemic," ABC’s 20/20 turns its cameras beyond the shocking images of smoking babies and schoolchildren to spotlight the role of lax government regulation and Philip Morris International’s marketing to youth.
Continue reading ABC’s 20/20: Philip Morris International’s Link to Indonesia’s “Mini-explosion of Smoking Babies”
Supporters around the country now working to Knock Tobacco Out of the Park
Aug 18, 2011
As the Little League World Series rolls along and Major League Baseball pennant races heat up, the Knock Tobacco Out of the Park coalition is hitting championship stride.
More than 120 national, state and local organizations — including baseball insiders, youth leagues and dozens of health groups — are urging the players union to agree to Commissioner Bud Selig's call for a ban. More are signing up every week.
Continue reading As MLB Season Heats Up, Campaign to Get Tobacco Out of Baseball Grows
Abby Michaelsen works to pass California Cancer Research Act
Abby Michaelsen, National Youth Advocate of the Year
May 18, 2011
It is an immense honor to be the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids’ National Youth Advocate of the Year! I am so excited to be in Washington to receive this award and to meet my fellow advocates who have been working tirelessly in their own communities on their tobacco prevention campaigns.
At home, I’m focused on helping my local American Heart Association with our campaign for the California Cancer Research Act. This act would increase the state’s tobacco tax by $1, with all the new funds going towards tobacco prevention and cessation programs and cancer research. Voters will decide the issue in the next statewide election, though the exact date of that is still uncertain.
Continue reading Meet Our National Youth Advocate of the Year
Tobacco-free all stars in lineup for opening day
Mar 31, 2011
Baseball's Opening Day has started with a burst of energy, excitement and momentum in the campaign to get smokeless tobacco out of the ballgame.
Continue reading ESPN Analyst, ex-Mets Manager Bobby Valentine Urges Tobacco Ban in Major Leagues
Youth from all corners of the country take action on Kick Butts Day
Mar 23, 2011
Thousands of young people at hundreds of events from coast-to-coast are taking action against tobacco use today — the 16th annual Kick Butts Day!
Kick Butts Day is a national day of activism that empowers youth to speak up and take action against Big Tobacco at hundreds of events across the USA — and even abroad.
Continue reading Thousands of Young People Take on Tobacco Industry
Menthol cigarettes attract youth, African-Americans and may make it harder to quit
Mar 17, 2011
The tobacco industry’s spin machine has gone into overdrive as we near the March 23 deadline for an Food and Drug Administration science advisory committee to issue a report on menthol cigarettes.
It's trying to convince the media — and nervous investors — that the committee will find menthol does not make cigarettes any more harmful, and nothing should be done about it.
Continue reading Panel on Menthol Sees Through Tobacco Industry’s Smoke
Hundreds of Kick Butts Day events registered — where's yours?
Mar 9, 2011
We're two weeks away from Kick Butts Day, and more than 500 events from coast to coast already are registered.
On March 23, thousands of youth will create pledge walls, hold rallies and stand out, speak out and seize control against Big Tobacco.
This interactive map shows registered events so that people in your community, the press and other Kick Butts Day participants can see how YOU are taking action. It also provides KickButtsDay.org viewers with contact information for event organizers, so other organizers can partner, combine events or share ideas!
Continue reading Get on the Map!
Annual day of activism helps kids — and adults — turn down tobacco
Feb 16, 2011
The 16th annual Kick Butts Day is coming on March 23, 2011.
What is it?
A nationwide event where young people stand out, speak up and seize control against tobacco! All day, and all across the country, youth hold events that educate their peers about tobacco, advocate for strong tobacco-control policies and protest cuts in funding for programs that keep kids from smoking and help smokers quit.
Continue reading Youth Around the Country Prepare to Kick Butts