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The Campaign for the Culture is an initiative of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids focused on uniting, empowering, educating and engaging people of color and other targeted communities around critical healthcare and human rights issues connected to tobacco use, with the goal of inspiring young community members to avoid or quit tobacco use. This comprehensive initiative includes: a cultural conversations series, HBCU listening tour, virtual summit, dinner series and advocate profiles.

The campaign is focused on the following core pillars:

  • Educating the public and building awareness in Black and other impacted communities about the harmful effects of tobacco use.
  • Engaging the medical community and appealing to providers for support.
  • Mobilizing NGOs, policy experts, community leaders and key stakeholders to activate ground-level support for policies and actions.


When the Smoke Clears: Intersection of Nicotine Addiction and Mental Health

August 18, 2022 | 5:00 p.m. ET


The tobacco industry is infamous for targeting its products to vulnerable populations, and people with mental health issues are no exception. This has contributed to much higher smoking rates – and much lower quit rates – in this community. Today, mental health issues are on the rise, particularly among youth. And the tobacco industry continues to find new ways to infiltrate and target these populations. In the next installment of our Campaign for the Culture conversation series, a panel of mental health experts and tobacco control advocates will explore these issues and what can be done. Join us for this illuminating and empowering event.

The Take Down

The Take Down is a series of candid interviews about tobacco use and advocacy within communities most impacted by Big Tobacco’s tactics.

In this edition, Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids’ Allyssa Williams interviews Dr. Larider Ruffin, Chair of the National Black Nurses Association’s Substance Use Disorders Committee. Dr. Ruffin also chairs the MSN program at Stockton University and is CEO at Ruffin Associates Healthy Housecalls where he maintains clinical practice as a Nurse Practitioner and Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist.

In Conversation with Dr. Larider Ruffin


In Conversation with Laphonza Butler


In Conversation with Dr. Patricia Nez Henderson


In Conversation with Dr. Elena Rios


In Conversation with Bryce Moore


In Conversation with Lincoln Mondy


My Family’s Relationship With Tobacco


About This Issue

For decades, the tobacco industry has targeted Black Americans, especially youth, with marketing for menthol cigarettes and other tobacco products like flavored cigars.

The tobacco industry’s predatory marketing has had a devastating impact on Black health and lives. Tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable death among Black Americans, claiming 45,000 Black lives each year. Black Americans are disproportionately impacted by tobacco use and die at higher rates than other groups from tobacco-related diseases such as cancer, heart disease and stroke. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the Black community.

Now there is growing evidence that smoking and other tobacco use can increase risk for Covid-19, which has so disproportionately impacted Black Americans. There has never been a more important time to stop the tobacco industry from targeting Black Americans and other groups, prevent kids from using tobacco and help more tobacco users quit.


How Big Tobacco Targets Black Americans

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