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sign up and Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids Encourage Gen Z to Fight Tobacco Use as a Social Justice Issue

DoSomething’s New Program “Why We Should Care” Includes Public Service Announcement Featuring Actress and Dancer Ava Michelle to Help Teens and Young Adults Keep Their Communities Tobacco- and Nicotine-Free
July 13, 2021

NEW YORK, July 13, 2021 – With Big Tobacco continually trying to hook Black, Brown and LGBTQ+ youth and low-income communities on its products, fighting these predatory marketing tactics has clearly become a social justice issue that young people care passionately about. What’s more, tobacco use impacts mental health and environmental protection efforts. To show young people that tobacco use is an intersectional challenge and to unite them to keep their loved ones and friends tobacco- and nicotine-free, and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids are launching a three-month program titled, “Why We Should Care.” 

“We are excited to join forces with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids for the first time, and applaud them for their highly impactful efforts to-date,” says DeNora Getachew, CEO at “Historically, tobacco use has disproportionately impacted marginalized communities, so this program is specifically designed to build a cohort of individuals who have been left out of the movement to build tobacco-and nicotine-free communities. Through this program we will activate Gen Z to keep loved ones and peers tobacco-free for the betterment of people and our planet.” 

DoSomething partnered with actress and dancer Ava Michelle, star of the Netflix movie Tall Girl, for this program. Michelle appears in a conversation-style PSA video where she is introduced to issues that intersect with tobacco use, including mental health, predatory marketing towards youth and the environment. “Through this program, I’ve learned that nicotine and tobacco use impact more than just your physical health. It affects many of the causes I’m passionate about, and that’s why I’m grateful to have the opportunity to help increase awareness amongst my peers and the greater community,” says Ava Michelle. 

The PSA shines a light on the weight of Big Tobacco’s wallet. It’s estimated that Big Tobacco spends $8.2 billion every year to market its deadly and addictive products.

“’Why We Should Care’ was created to inspire and educate Gen Z about the negative role the tobacco industry and tobacco use  play in the causes they care about the most,” says Matthew L. Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. “We are teaming up with DoSomething in the ongoing battle to keep young people  tobacco-free, and we are looking forward to providing a foundation for them to become agents of change in their own communities.”

The program will educate young people about the impact of Big Tobacco starting with a five-question quiz, which helps participants learn how tobacco and nicotine use is connected to causes they’re passionate about, including racial justice, the environment, physical and mental health, and LGBTQ+ equity issues. Upon completion, participants will receive a customized conversation guide and a checklist of action items they can use to activate their friends to also take a stand against Big Tobacco. 

Young people can sign up for the "Why We Should Care" program here or by texting TAKEDOWN to 38383. Those who participate in the program by September 15, 2021, will be entered for the chance to win a $1,500 scholarship from one of DoSomething’s scholarship partners: 

  • Fastweb
  • Cappex
  • CollegeXpress 
  • College Greenlight
  • Scholly 
  • Niche

About is the largest organization exclusively for young people and social change. We've been activating young people for social impact for 28 years. We have 5 million members committed to making positive change, online and off, in every US area code and in over 131 countries. When you join, you join something bigger than yourself. 

About The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is the leading advocacy organization working to reduce tobacco use and its deadly consequences in the United States and around the world. Through strategic communications and policy advocacy campaigns, Tobacco-Free Kids works to change public attitudes about tobacco and promote proven policies that are most effective at reducing tobacco use and save the most lives.