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truth® campaign prevents more than 300,000 young people from smoking in one year

An estimated 301,930 youth and young adults did not become smokers over the course of one year because of the truth campaign, according to a new study published in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

The research, which measured exposure and sentiment toward the truthbrand, shows that building brand equity among young people not only improves message recall, but also influences behavioral outcomes. It found that 15- to 21-year-olds who feel more favorably toward the brand are less likely to be smokers, and for those who do smoke, they are more than twice as likely to report intentions to quit in the next year.


An estimated 301,930 youth and young adults did not become smokers over the course of one year because of the truth campaign

The study underscores the importance of brand equity for health promotion efforts. truth, one of largest and most successful youth smoking prevention campaigns in history, uses a variety of platforms to expose the facts about the health and social consequences of tobacco use and the marketing tactics of the tobacco industry, which spends more than $8 billion each year to market tobacco products in the United States.

“Branding is a promising and growing strategy that has been employed by commercial marketers, but has not been completely adopted by many health promotion efforts,” said Donna Vallone, Ph.D., M.P.H., chief research officer at Truth Initiative and lead author on the study. “This study provides compelling evidence that our branding approach has helped young people reject tobacco.”

truth has saved hundreds of thousands of lives since it launched in 2000. A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine in 2009 found that during the first four years of the campaign, truth was directly responsible for keeping 450,000 teens from starting to smoke. The campaign has also received many awards recognizing these results, including topping the North American Effie Index as a number one brand in 2016.