The Take Down: Ed Sanders and Kellie… | Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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In Conversation with Ed Sanders and Kellie Hawkins

In this edition of The Take Down, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids’ Nikkya Taliaferro interviews Ed Sanders, President of the ES Advisors Group, and Kellie Hawkins, Partner at EKA. Ed and Kellie were integral organizers in the successful campaign to end the sale of flavored tobacco products in California.

With Big Tobacco fighting at every turn — not to mention the logistical challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic — the California campaign faced significant challenges. But the strength of the campaign came from a robust coalition of health, education, pediatric and civil rights organizations — as well as policymakers, businesses, and grassroots advocates. Ed and Kellie were on the front lines mobilizing this broad coalition and countering Big Tobacco’s disinformation.

Their efforts made all the difference. The California Legislature passed the flavor bill in 2020, and voters overwhelmingly upheld it in a 2022 statewide referendum.

In this interview, Ed and Kellie discuss a wide range of topics — including how Big Tobacco targets kids and communities of color, how to fight a powerful and deep-pocketed industry, and how we can all work together to achieve a healthier, tobacco-free future.


We stayed energized and ready because we knew we had a North Star. The North Star for us was ending the sale of flavored tobacco!