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Not Buying It: The Tobacco Industry's Rebrand

Join Truth Initiative for a virtual discussion on the tobacco industry’s efforts to rebrand itself as a part of the public health solution while putting a new generation at risk for nicotine addiction. We’ll break down the industry’s influence and unpack how individuals and businesses alike can negate these efforts by protecting their platforms.

This inaugural Truth Initiative Impact Series will tackle the conflict of interest between the tobacco industry and public health, highlighting the need for corporate and nonprofit leaders to reject funding and collaboration with an industry that causes millions of preventable deaths around the world every year. 


Stephen Headshot
Stephen Hamill
Stephen Hamill is the Vice President of Policy, Advocacy and Communication at Vital Strategies where he manages a global team that uses strategic communications to foster positive policy in more than forty countries. As part of his work, Stephen manages advocacy and health communications including grant-funded programs that push to create policy change and large-scale behavior changes that has touched more than 2 billion lives. Prior to joining Vital Strategies, Stephen held a variety of communications leadership roles including serving as the Assistant Director of Communications for the New York City Council and communications consulting for various civil society groups and political campaigns, notably the Rockefeller Family Fund, Working Families Party and dozens of other nonprofits and political organizations.
Robin Headshot
Robin Koval
Robin Koval is CEO and President of Truth Initiative®, the national public health organization dedicated to achieving a culture where all young people reject smoking, vaping and nicotine. An acclaimed leader in the advertising and marketing world, and New York Times best-selling author, Koval joined Truth Initiative in 2013. She’s led the successful re-launch of the award-winning and lifesaving truth® youth tobacco prevention campaign and expanded the organization’s world-class research, public education, youth activism and digital cessation programs to also combat the youth e-cigarette epidemic.
Karen Evans-Reeves
Karen Evans-Reeves, PhD
Dr. Karen Evans-Reeves is a Research Fellow with the Tobacco Control Research Group (TCRG) at the University of Bath, the research partner in STOP, a global tobacco industry watchdog. Karen conducts research into policy influence by the tobacco industry, particularly its attempts to prevent public health policies or to push its for-profit agenda via third parties. Karen leads TCRG’s Digital Methods Research Team, which uses digital methods to collect and analyse large datasets acquired from, for example, social media sites. Karen was previously senior editor of, the ground-breaking website which provides details on tobacco companies, its third parties and their activities.
Bronwyn King
Dr. Bronwyn King
Dr. Bronwyn King is the CEO of Tobacco Free Portfolios and began her medical career working as a doctor on the lung cancer ward at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, Australia. While doing her best to treat her patients (many of whom had started smoking in childhood) Dr. King observed first-hand the truly devastating impact of tobacco. She was unaware that at the very same time she was investing in Big Tobacco via her compulsory superannuation (pension) fund. Tobacco Free Portfolios was set up in response to that discovery. Since then, Dr. King has assembled an accomplished team that has been instrumental in advancing the switch to tobacco-free finance across the globe.
Carol McGruder
Carol McGruder
Carol McGruder is a seasoned veteran of California’s tobacco control experience, and a founding member and Co-Chairperson of the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council (AATCLC). Created to inform the direction of tobacco control policy, practices, and priorities, the AATCLC works at the intersection of public health policy and social injustice. They have fought against the decades of tobacco industry targeting of the Black community and the resulting 45,000 Black lives lost each year from tobacco related diseases. Carol and the AATCLC have received honors from organizations including the Public Health Law Center, SRNT, and the San Francisco and Berkeley Branches of the NAACP. She served as NAACP Branch President for Berkeley, CA for two terms.

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Stop the Influence: Reject Big Tobacco and Vape Money organizes youth-serving, environmental, social and racial justice, and public health organizations; college and university leaders; faith groups; and cultural institutions to join forces to reject funding from or any form of partnership with tobacco and vaping companies and expose donations for what they are: another industry public relations tactic.