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truth® campaign

truth® is the longest running and most successful national tobacco prevention campaign for youth and young adults. Developed from extensive formative research, truth is a brand with which youth and young adults can affiliate instead of tobacco brands. It goes toe-to-toe with an industry that spends more than $9 billion each year to market tobacco products in the U.S. And we’ve been effective: Over the course of our campaign, teen smoking rates have dropped from 23 percent to less than 6 percent.

We produce provocative and original advertisements, deliver online engagement opportunities and create in-person experiences that connect truth with youth and young adults. Our goal: inspire youth and young adults to use their creativity and social influence to spread the truth about tobacco and make this the generation that ends tobacco use.

Since 2000, truth has spoken to youth and young adults in the terms and through the channels they understand and trust. We were the first national campaign to encourage teens to make informed decisions about tobacco by giving them the facts about the health and social consequences of tobacco use and the marketing tactics of the industry behind it. 

We have earned praise for effectiveness and creativity. Ads like Body Bags and Singing Cowboy have become icons of social change communication earning us multiple Emmy, Cannes Lions, Effie, Clio and Webby awards, among many others. In 2014, Advertising Age named truth one of the top 15 campaigns of the 21st Century. 

Our iconic orange “truth trucks” have crisscrossed the country each summer since 2000, making stops at popular musical and sporting events where teens gather. Tour riders engage one-on-one with the millions who attend those events, giving information about tobacco and the tobacco industry as well as truth-branded merchandise such as hats, T-shirts, bandanas and more. During a typical summer, the tour makes stops in more than 50 cities and 25 states.

Our current evolution of truth, titled Finish It, launched in 2014. Through our multi-channel program, we are rallying a volunteer army of youth and young adults to use their influence and creativity to de-normalize smoking among their peers. Our campaign connects with today’s youth culture tapping into what’s popular, such as selfies and dating apps, and works with musicians, celebrities and online influencers to bring serious messages to light with boldness, clarity and often humor. 

We actively collaborate with tobacco prevention and cessation campaigns led by the states and by federal agencies like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.