WASHINGTON, June 25 /PRNewswire/ -- truth, the nation's largest smoking prevention campaign for youth, began its 11th annual nationwide summer tour on Friday, June 25, at tour stops in California and New York City. By traveling throughout the U.S. this summer, truth continues its life-saving mission to educate young people about the health effects, addictiveness and social consequences of tobacco use. Young adult truth "crew members" will interact with teens across the country at local stops of popular summer musical and sporting events.
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Every year, truth crews connect with more than 500,000 teens, allowing teens to experience the truth campaign first-hand. This year, two crews and their signature orange "truth trucks" will make more than 60 stops across more than 25 states, as they travel to some of the season's hottest teen-oriented events. One crew will spend the summer traveling with the Vans Warped Tour, an annual summer rock festival featuring upcoming bands as well as more well-known rock and punk acts like Sum 41, Reel Big Fish, Everclear, Dropkick Murphys, I See Stars, and Mayday Parade.
A second truth crew will appear at different events including:
- AST Dew Tour, an action sports tour, featuring the top action sports athletes in the world competing for the highly coveted Dew Cup in skateboarding, BMX and freestyle motocross.
- The 6th annual Afro-Punk Festival, taking place in New York City, Atlanta, and Chicago. The festival celebrates the cultural cornerstones of Afro-Punk: music, film, skating and BMX riding.
- truth will also make impromptu, unannounced appearances at popular teen-oriented events and venues such as festivals, skate parks and more in cities like New York, Atlanta, and Washington, DC, among others.
"Each summer, teens across the country look for our familiar orange truth trucks at concerts, follow the tour online at thetruth.com, and see tour-related programming on popular media channels like fuse and Fuel," said Cheryl G. Healton, Dr. P.H., president and CEO of Legacy, the national public health foundation that directs and funds the truth campaign. "As truth celebrates its ten-year anniversary in 2010, the tour has been a significant part of our success over the decade. Touring gives us the opportunity to reach teens directly in their own environment, with our important life-saving messages. As usual, we have a dynamic crew of young people tapped to be crew members for 2010, so we look forward to another terrific year in the field, reaching out to hundreds of thousands of teens."
Selected from a national pool of applicants, the truth crew members are talented and charismatic young adults that engage in peer-to-peer interaction with teens attending concerts and events. Most tour stops feature the distinctive orange truth truck and zone, which forms a natural gathering place. In the zone, crew members hold fashion shows, dance contests, and freestyle rap "battles"; teach DJ lessons through "Scratch Academy" (a group of DJs who school newcomers on the fundamentals of DJ'ing, scratching and mixing music); play games, and distribute truth "gear" – fashionable and trendy items reflecting tobacco messages. The fun and engaging atmosphere makes it easier for truth crew members to discuss tobacco issues in a non-preachy way.
The summer tour will be enhanced online at www.thetruth.com, which welcomes approximately 60,000 visitors per month. At the site, users can learn about truth, meet the truth crew members who will be out on tour, view video blogs and photos from the field, play games, find out where upcoming events will take place, and view updates from tour stops. Free tickets to events can also be won via online contests.
truth is a multidimensional campaign, featuring not only grassroots outreach through summer tours but also advertising (television, radio, print, online, cinema), Websites and interactive elements, and events. In the past decade, the truth campaign has kept nearly half a million teens from smoking, protecting them from years of addiction and tobacco-related disease and saving countless lives. A growing body of research has confirmed the efficacy of the truth campaign in changing teens' attitudes and behaviors toward smoking. A study published in the April 2009 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine (AJPM) found that truth was directly responsible for keeping 450,000 teens from starting to smoke during its first four years, from 2000 to 2004. A second paper in that same publication found that the campaign not only paid for itself in its first two years, but also saved between $1.9 and $5.4 billion in medical care costs to society.
BACKGROUND ON THE truth CAMPAIGN
truth, launched in February 2000, is the largest national youth smoking prevention campaign and the only national campaign not directed by the tobacco industry. The campaign exposes the tactics of the tobacco industry, the truth about addiction, and the health effects and social consequences of smoking. truth allows teens to make informed choices about tobacco use by giving them the facts about the industry and its products.
Legacy is dedicated to building a world where young people reject tobacco and anyone can quit. Located in Washington, D.C., the foundation develops programs that address the health effects of tobacco use, especially among vulnerable populations disproportionately affected by the toll of tobacco, through grants, technical assistance and training, partnerships, youth activism, and counter-marketing and grassroots marketing campaigns. The foundation's programs include truth, a national youth smoking prevention campaign that has been cited as contributing to significant declines in youth smoking; EX®, an innovative public health program designed to speak to smokers in their own language and change the way they approach quitting; research initiatives exploring the causes, consequences and approaches to reducing tobacco use; and a nationally-renowned program of outreach to priority populations. Legacy was created as a result of the November 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) reached between attorneys general from 46 states, five U.S. territories and the tobacco industry. Visit www.legacyforhealth.org.
SOURCE The truth Campaign