Truth Hurts For America’s Smoking Youth

20 September 2002

The controversial Truth anti-smoking campaign conducted by the American Legacy Foundation appears to be having dramatic results among its target audience, America’s youth.

According to the National Youth Tobacco Survey 2002, commissioned by the ALF and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rate of smoking among those high-school students with high exposure to the campaign fell by 29%.

The report examined changes in smoking rates in 69 schools since 2000, when the Truth campaign was launched. It found:

• A 17.9% decline in the prevalence of current smoking among all high school-students (current smoking is classed as smoking at least once within the previous 30 days).

• A 21.7% drop among high-school girls and a 14% downturn among high-school boys.

• A 5.4% fall in smoking among middle-school students.

However, the campaign, created by Arnold Worldwide in Boston and Crispin Porter Bogusky in Miami, has come under fire from some tobacco companies, which claim it portrays them in too unflattering a light.

One firm, Lorillard Tobacco, sued the ALF earlier this year, claiming its ads violated an agreement not to vilify the tobacco industry – not least in a radio commercial in which one of its employees was asked whether he would like to purchase some dog urine to supply the urea for cigarettes.

Lorillard recently began legal action against the attorneys general who set up the ALF under the 1998 master settlement agreement between 46 states and the tobacco industry [WAMN: 17-Sep-02].

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff