In an early celebration of World No Tobacco Day 2022, members of CADCA and CADCA’s Geographic Health Equity Alliance (GHEA) gathered virtually May 25 to attend the webinar, “Getting to know truth: resources for inspiring lives free from smoking, vaping & nicotine.” This webinar was presented by Truth Initiative.

For more than 20 years, Truth Initiative has conducted rigorous scientific research and policy studies, developed the proven-effective and nationally recognized truth® public education and prevention campaign, implemented community and youth engagement programs supporting populations at high risk of using tobacco and demonstrated innovation in tobacco dependence treatment. These efforts have contributed to the overall decline in youth smoking rates within the United States, from 23% in 2000 to under 3% in 2021.

Despite this steep decline in youth smoking, the popularity of e-cigarette use among youth threatens to addict a new generation to nicotine. Youth vaping remaining at epidemic levels, with more than 2 million high school and middle school students using e-cigarettes. This is concerning given the harm that nicotine has on developing brains. Younger users are more likely to become addicted, have more difficulty quitting and may be at higher risk for addiction to other tobacco products and substances in the future. It is for this reason that Truth Initiative continues to lead the fight against tobacco use and nicotine addiction in all forms.

Webinar participants were introduced to resources that Truth Initiative uses to inspire lives free from smoking, vaping & nicotine.

Topic areas included:

  1. the truth campaign and its evaluation,
  2. Vaping: Know the Truth vaping prevention program,
  3. Community and Youth Engagement programs, and
  4. This is Quitting – a text message based vaping cessation program for youth and young adults.

truth® public education and prevention campaign

Breath of Stress Air, the latest campaign from truth, focuses on exposing nicotine’s role as a contributor to the worsening youth mental health crisis. Research by Truth Initiative shows that most young e-cigarette users started using e-cigarettes to lessen feelings of stress, anxiety or depression and that many continue vaping to cope with these feelings. However, vaping nicotine only provides users with a temporary fix. In fact, vaping can increase feelings of stress and anxiety.

Vaping: Know the truth curriculum

Vaping: Know the truth is a free, national youth vaping prevention curriculum created by Truth Initiative and Kaiser Permanente – in collaboration with the American Heart Association – to help combat the youth e-cigarette epidemic. Included in this curriculum are an engaging set of self-led, interactive modules for high school and middle school students, as a part of the Truth Initiative’s nationally recognized truth campaign. It has been available through EVERFI since November 2020. To date, more than 386,500 young people have actively engaged in the digital course.

Community and Youth Engagement Programs

Truth Initiative inspires, educates and mobilizes young leaders, coalitions, and organizations, with online and on-the-ground action, youth leadership development, and creative partnerships and grants. These include our college leader, truth Ambassador and community leader programs, as well as our Tobacco/Vape-Free College Program, which has helped over 140 campuses, primarily community colleges, historically black colleges and universities, and minority-serving institutions to go tobacco free.

This is Quitting from truth

This is Quitting is a free and anonymous text messaging program designed to help young people quit vaping. The first-of-its-kind quit program incorporates messages from other young people like them who have attempted to, or successfully quit, e-cigarettes. To date, This is Quitting has helped over 450,000 youth and young adults. To enroll, youth and young adults can text DITCHVAPE to 88709.


Speakers from Truth Initiative represented: research and evaluation (Elizabeth K. Do, PhD, MPH and Kenneshia Williams, PhD), communications (Sarah Freeark), youth smoking prevention and education (Alex I. Parks, MS, CHES), and innovations to end tobacco use (Megan Jacobs, MPH).


For those who will be attending the National Conference on Tobacco and Health in New Orleans at the end of June, Truth Initiative staff from marketing, health communications, community and youth engagement, and innovations will be presenting. Feel free to stop by and say hello to the team!