truth takes on tobacco during the 2017 Vans Warped Tour
truth®, the longest running national youth tobacco prevention campaign, and its crew of tour riders are on the road for their 18th summer on the Vans Warped Tour, a traveling rock festival, to get loud and share facts about tobacco with thousands of young people. From June through September, the amped-up riders will be at 41 stops across the country, inspiring action and motivating young people to become ‘Finishers’ by ending tobacco use for good.
In 2000, 23 percent of U.S. teens smoked cigarettes. Today, that number has dropped to just six percent – but it doesn’t tell the full story. Tobacco is not an equal opportunity killer and for decades, African Americans, low-income neighborhoods, LGBTQ communities and those with mental illness have been disproportionately affected by tobacco use—a result of profiling by the tobacco industry. That’s why the fight against Big Tobacco is far from over. In 2014, truth launched the FinishIT campaign to empower teens to make this the generation that puts an end to tobacco in every community nationwide.
“By engaging with audiences on the Vans Warped Tour, we’re building the movement of Finishers nationwide,” said Josh Barna, truth tour manager. “To us, ‘Finishers’ are the individuals making an impact on tobacco use within their own networks. Big or small, every action counts – from enlisting online, to wearing truth merchandise and sharing the facts with friends.”
The orange truth truck is a favorite part of the Vans Warped Tour for any summer concert attendee. The truth tour riders get the summer started at the orange truth truck equipped with a DJ booth and dance floor. At each tour stop, truth will be offering:
- Games, live music, contests and giveaways, allowing truth tour riders to share tobacco facts with fans while they rock out to their favorite artists;
- Tons of truth-branded giveaways “merch” including: t-shirts, hats, accessories and skateboard decks.
This year the roster of truth tour riders is the most exciting yet, including:
- Tour Manager, Josh Barna (St. Louis, Mo.)
- Fitness fanatic and hopeful YouTube vlogger, Lexes O’Hara (Springfield, Ill.)
- Photographer and aspiring travel journalist, Ricky Pinela (Orlando, Fla.)
- Aspiring filmmaker and gamer, Esai Guerrero (Tucson, Ariz.)
- Gamer, YouTuber and musician, Brian Ochiagha (Tucson, Ariz.)
- Zero-waste advocate and returning tour rider, Chelsee Warneke (Oakland, Calif.)
- Make-up artist and returning tour rider, Karina Delgadillo (San Diego, Calif.)
- Theater and comics fan and returning tour rider, Alex Heberlein (Liberty, Ill.)
- DJ and three-year tour veteran, Cody Griswold (Minneapolis, Minn.)
“Our tour riders are ‘Finishers’ in their own right,” said Eric Asche, CMO of Truth Initiative®, the organization that funds and directs truth. “They embody this generation and inspire others to be the generation that ends smoking.”