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Press Release

truth partners with Epiphone to donate custom guitars to high schools

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truth, one of the largest and most effective youth tobacco prevention campaigns, and Epiphone are partnering to donate more than 100 custom-designed guitars to select high schools in communities most heavily impacted by tobacco, where 72 percent of remaining smokers reside. The truth x Epiphone partnership aims to inspire teenagers to use their creativity as a force for change and speak up against Big Tobacco.

The truth x Epiphone custom guitars were first showcased at this year’s Grammys gift lounge, where celebrities including Zac Brown Band, BeBe Rexha, Little Big Town and Daddy Yankee signed guitars for donation.

This project also comes on the heels of the latest campaign from truth, which launched during the 60th annual Grammy Awards. The ads, titled ‘Worth More’, call out Big Tobacco for preying on the nation’s most vulnerable within lower-income communities with the help of Grammy-nominated Imagine Dragons’ lead vocalist Dan Reynolds and award-winning country music singer Jon Pardi.

Big Tobacco not only targets lower-income communities to start smoking, but makes it harder for them to quit. It genetically engineered their products to have two times the natural levels of nicotine and lowered the cost of cigarettes. Manipulation tactics particularly impact several states from the upper Midwest to the South, which have smoking numbers on par or higher than the least developed countries in the world.

“Unfortunately, youth are especially susceptible to this exploitation, with more than 3,200 people under 18 smoking their first cigarette every day in the U.S.,” said Eric Asche, chief marketing and strategy officer at Truth Initiative, the organization that directs and funds the truth campaign. “That is why we are empowering young people in the states most heavily impacted by tobacco with the facts, so that they can make their own informed choices.”

“There is a lot of tobacco use around here and I can see why, but I think we can change that” said Aleah, a student at Logan County High School, Russellville, Kentucky. “I am using these facts and music to spread the word.”

High schools receiving guitars include:

  • Irvington Preparatory Academy - Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Warren Central High School - Indianapolis, Indiana
  • East Technical High School - Cleveland, Ohio
  • Coretta Scott King Women’s Leadership Academy - Atlanta, Georgia
  • Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School - Nashville, Tennessee
  • Hunters Lane High School - Nashville, Tennessee
  • McGavock High School - Nashville, Tennessee
  • Logan County High School - Logan County, Kentucky 
  • Greenbrier East High School - Lewisburg, West Virginia
  • Lincoln County High School - Hamlin, West Virginia
  • Murphy High School - Mobile, Alabama
  • U.S. Grant High School - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

truth x Epiphone will continue to donate guitars throughout the summer as part of the partnership.

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