National public health and minority organizations launch Stop the Influence, an engagement campaign to reject big tobacco and vape money

WASHINGTON, June 10, 2021 / PRNewswire / – The African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council, Black Women’s Health Imperative, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and Truth Initiative®, announced today Stop the influence: reject the big tobacco and the money of the vape, a call for organizations to sign a pledge to reject funding or any form or partnership with companies that sell tobacco or vaping products such as combustible cigarettes, e-cigarettes or heated tobacco as well as nicotine lozenges, pipes, cigars, cigarillos and hookah. To date, 32 organizations have signed the pledge. Interested organizations can find out more and register on initiative Vérité.org / stop-the-influence.

The tobacco industry has a long history of using strategic contributions and alliances with organizations and public leaders under the guise of philanthropy and public service to help protect commercial interests and rule out effective policies that reduce tobacco consumption and save lives in order to strengthen its image with customers. These tactics continue to intensify as tobacco companies aggressively market flashy new electronic and flavored products to increase their market share, especially among young people. Not surprisingly, many of those hardest hit by COVID-19 and systemic racism have long been targeted by the tobacco industry through predatory marketing tactics, including Black, Indigenous, Colored and LGBTQ + communities.

Youth rights, social and racial justice, environmental and public health organizations; leaders of colleges and universities; faith groups; and cultural institutions are invited to sign a pledge and take a stand by rejecting the influence of the vaping tobacco industry by not accepting donations and refusing any partnership. The goal is for organizations to join forces and expose the gifts of the tobacco industry for what they are: blatant public relations stunts meant to protect industry profits and thwart real life saving solutions. Lives.

In addition, the Truth Initiative, through its national program truth® The Youth Smoking and Vaping Prevention and Public Education Campaign also calls on young people to influence change with an effort called “the truth about money. “Young people can get involved by signing the pledge and learning the facts to help achieve a better future free from the environmentally destructive toxins resulting from tobacco and vaping. With 398 signatures to date, it’s clear that young people will not stand to be targeted and exploited by the tobacco industry as it continues to fuel the e-cigarette epidemic among young people with nearly one in five high school students vaping in 2020.

“The tobacco industry has a long history of shamelessly protecting profits at the expense of people’s lives and it is escalating,” said Robin koval, CEO and President of Truth Initiative. “The primary goal of the tobacco and vape industry is to target groups – especially youth, black Americans, and vulnerable populations – to be recruited as the next generation of nicotine addicted individuals and customers. Lifetime It will take everyone working together to throw the industry down Public relations stunts and philanthropic contributions that borrow the well-deserved credibility of reputable organizations to improve the industry’s poor image. to tobacco and vape dollars.

“The tobacco industry has had a devastating impact on the black community,” said Dr. Phil Gardiner, Co-chair, African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council. “Whether it’s through the predatory marketing of menthol cigarettes and little cigars in our community, to buying the voices of certain African-American groups, the tobacco industry has been and is just bad. news for our community. The African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council strongly encourages all groups not to take money from the tobacco industry.

“This is a social justice issue. For decades, the tobacco industry has carefully executed a cross-sector marketing campaign to infiltrate the black community with unsupervised menthol cigarettes. The success of this campaign is now used in the tobacco and vaping industry, where we have seen an increase in the marketing of their products to black youth, especially over the past year, during COVID-19, ”said Linda Goler Blount, BWHI President and CEO. “As smoking and vaping increase the risk of complications and residual effects from COVID-19, it is more important than ever that we provide the tools and awareness needed by black communities to defend the fight against the industry. tobacco that further ravages our communities. Blount said.

“For too long the tobacco industry has used its big pockets to fund organizations to buy goodwill and lend themselves a false veneer of legitimacy. This is why it is so important that organizations commit to “Stop the Influence” and reject any funding or partnership. opportunities with tobacco or vaping companies, ”said Matthew L. Myers, the president of the Campaign for Tobacco Free Children. “Ultimately, the tobacco companies are still responsible for the deaths of more than 480,000 Americans each year.”

The stakes are high – for all of us

  • Tobacco use is still the leading cause of preventable death in the country. Each year, approximately 480,000 die prematurely from tobacco-related illnesses, including cancer, heart disease, lung disease and stroke.
  • The youth vaping epidemic continues, with around one in five high school students using e-cigarettes in 2020. Additionally, a study from the Truth Initiative shows that young people who have ever used e-cigarettes were seven times more likely to become smokers a year later. compared to those who had never vaped.1
  • Unless smoking rates drop, 5.6 million children under the age of 18 today will eventually die from smoking.
  • Cost of smoking-related illnesses United States more … than $ 226 billion in health spending each year.

While tobacco takes a heavy toll on consumers and their loved ones, the damage extends even further.

  • Cigarettes are the most common item on earth. Each year, approximately 766,571 tonnes of cigarette butts end up in the environment and up to 1,500 pounds of tobacco waste litter the world.2 The rise of single-use and disposable electronic cigarettes has worsened this environmental impact.
  • In blatant displays of greenwashing, tobacco companies are sponsoring cleanups, recycling programs, and other public displays of eco-activism while barely making a dent in an environmental problem they created in the first place.

Initiative truth is lead a virtual discussion at Thursday, June 10, 2021 at 12:30 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. ET on the tobacco industry’s efforts to rebrand itself as part of the public health solution while putting a new generation at risk of nicotine addiction. To see the event, visit https://youtu.be/Eiw3HK3wD5s

To learn more about the influence of the tobacco industry, read the Truth Initiative report, Running a new tobacco industry.

About the Truth Initiative®
Truth Initiative is a national public health organization that inspires tobacco, vaping and nicotine-free lives and builds a culture where all youth quit tobacco. In 2020, we celebrated 20 years of saving lives and preventing millions of young people from smoking. Our impact has helped bring down the rate of teenage smoking from 23% in 2000 to 4.2% in 2020. The truth about tobacco and the tobacco industry is at the heart of our proven and trusted strategy. nationwide. truth® public education campaign. truth has also recently supported the vaping and opioid epidemics among young people. Our rigorous scientific research and policy studies, our community and youth engagement programs supporting populations at high risk of tobacco use, and innovation in tobacco addiction treatment are also helping to end one of the battles of tobacco use. most critical public health issues of our time. Situated at Washington DC, our organization, formerly known as the American Legacy Foundation, was created and funded by the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement between the Attorneys General of 46 states, five US territories and the tobacco industry. To learn more, visit initiativetruth.org.

About the African American Tobacco Control Board
Formed in 2008, the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council (AATCLC) partners with community stakeholders, elected officials and public health agencies to inform national direction of tobacco control policies, practices and priorities, as they affect the life of black Americans and Africans. immigrant populations.

About the health imperative of black women
The Black Women’s Health Imperative (BWHI) is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting health equity and social justice for black women throughout the lifespan through policy, advocacy, education, research and leadership development. The organization identifies the most pressing health issues affecting the country’s 22 million black women and girls and invests in the best strategies and organizations to achieve its goals. For more information, please visit bwhi.org.

About the Tobacco Free Campaign
The Tobacco Free Campaign is the leading advocacy organization working to reduce tobacco use and its deadly consequences in United States and all over the world. Through strategic communications and political advocacy campaigns, Tobacco-Free Kids strives to change public attitudes towards tobacco and promote proven policies that are most effective in reducing tobacco use and save the most lives.

1 Elizabeth C. Hair, Alexis A. Barton, Benefits of Siobhan N., Jennifer kreslake, Haijun Xiao, Lindsay pitzer, Adam M. Leventhal, Donna M. Vallone, Association between e-cigarette use and future combustible cigarette use: evidence from a prospective cohort of youth and young adults, 2017-2019, Addictive behaviors, Volume 112, 2021, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2020.106593.
2 Keep America Beautiful, National Visible Waste Survey and Cost of Waste Study, 2009, https://kab.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/LitterinAmerica_FactSheet_LitterOverview.pdf

SOURCE Truth Initiative

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