It’s because of activists like you that 2023 has been such a successful year for creating lasting change in our communities. Thank you for taking action toward truth’s mission to end nicotine addiction. Together, we:

  • Hosted and attended events, like the VOICE Indiana Youth Summit, the Eliminate Tobacco Summit, and our Moment of Action on Capitol Hill
  • Outstanding young activists were awarded the Impact Scholarship, our new Tobacco-Free College Program Grantees were onboarded, and 15 students were named as truth Ambassadors
  • Took action and protested Altria outside their DC office, engaged with people at DC Pride, and screened Black Lives, Black Lungs 2 across the country

Winter Milestones

  • VOICE Indiana Youth Summit: 200 activists gathered at the Statehouse to extend the reach of the LINK UP to be Tobacco and Nicotine FREE event, reaching 7 decision-makers
  • Love Your Lungs: Truth Ambassador Laila Darville organized a self-care event featuring yoga, face mask-making, coloring, and fun giveaways. 30 attendees signed our petition to declare vaping a mental health emergency 
  • Bucks County Community College Hosted a Love Your Lungs Event across two of its campuses on Valentine’s Day
  • We announced the winners of the 2022-2023 Impact Scholarship. Congrats to this years’ winners!


  • Moment of Action 2023: 30 activists from around the country gathered in DC to share the message that vape flavors shouldn’t taste like candy. Together we took action at the Department of Health and Human Services, on a college campus, and on Capitol Hill
  • Urban League of West Michigan: Youth Trainers Briana Brooks, Joe Varallo, and Kacey King led a conversation with 20 students ages 14 to 18 years old on how the tobacco industry targets young people and the importance of youth advocacy to spread awareness about the dangers of vaping and tobacco use. 
  • Stay Woke/Don’t Smoke Poetry Slam: Trinity Washington University College Leaders hosted a poetry slam to build momentum among students and community members for a 100% smoke-free policy on campus
  • NJ Eliminate Tobacco Summit 2023: truth Ambassador Yashi Srivastava served as a panelist for the “Engaging Student Leaders in All Aspects of Tobacco-Free Conversations” session, reaching 300 youth and adults.
    • Yashi also attended a roundtable discussion with Congressman Frank Pallone, community organizers, staff from the Rutgers Institute for Nicotine & Tobacco Studies, public health professionals and other stakeholders
  • Walsh Middle School Engagement: Youth Trainers Joe Varallo, Xavier Lynum, and Jordan Watkins co-led an in-person conversation at Walsh Middle School for an audience of 800 students. The conversation covered the dangers of the tobacco industry and how it intersects with our activism efforts

Spring MILESTONES (cont.)

  • Occidental College Engagement: Youth Trainers Kacey King, Jordan Young, and Asli McCullers led a conversation with 25 Occidental College students on the tobacco industry, our activism efforts, and the college grant program
  • Launch of Cohort 7 College Grantees: 17 new colleges and universities joined the Tobacco-Free College Program. For two days student leaders convened in DC to train in student engagement, policy adoption, and more!
  • Ethan Across Ohio: truth Ambassador Ethan Harrer walked across the state of Ohio to raise money for Sandy Hook Promise (SHP), in sponsorship with Truth Initiative. Over the course of 21 days and 280 miles, he raised $3,238 from over 50 donors in his community. All proceeds went to SHP 
  • DC Altria Protest: truth Ambassadors Sam Rose and Laila Darville joined the nearly 100 young people that protested outside Altria’s DC office during the company’s shareholder meeting. The demonstration was led by Mobilize Against Tobacco Lies (MATL), a collaborative of youth programs and partners including Truth Initiative that works to end tobacco use. Sam and Laila also spoke on Wednesday as part of MATL’s training day for the action 
  • Stress Less, Breathe Easy: Trinity Washington University College Leaders hosted “Stress Less, Breathe Easy,” providing their over 2,000 students with resources to reduce stress and avoid vaping during finals week

Summer Milestones

  • Tennessee Strong Youth Conference: Youth Trainer Briana Brooks led the conference, with 160 students engaged from across the state
  • DC Pride Event: Activists engaged over 400 festival-goers in DC with information about how the tobacco industry preys upon the LGBTQ+ community
  • 2023-2024 Truth Ambassadors: 15 young leaders from across the country were selected to inspire tobacco/vape-free lives as 2023-2024 truth Ambassadors.
  • Simmons Fest 2023: College Leaders at Simmons College of Kentucky shared about truth at the annual Simmons Fest & Health Equity Fair
  • Ferris State University: Student leaders hosted the College of Pharmacy’s Welcome Back Picnic and the Founder’s Day Event 
  • Gallaudet University’s Community Health Fair: 120 students showed their support for a smoke-free policy by signing a petition at this annual campus event

Fall Milestones

  • Breathe Easier: Howard University student leaders hosted the “Breathe Easier Event” at Aerial Heights Yoga
  • The Poet Life x Truth Initiative: DC youth and families came out to a tobacco-themed poetry slam and school supply giveaway
  • DC Calls it Quits Summit: 
    • Courtney Butler, a former College Leader at Trinity Washington University, was awarded Emerging Leader Award 
    • truth Intern and college student Victoria led a panel of experts on tobacco control and laws on flavored nicotine products
  • Black Billionaires Table: Partnering with the Start Program at the Center of DEI & Res Life, truth Ambassador Mattie Harris held an event with 32 students at Emmanuel College. The event included a screening of the Black Lives, Black Lungs films, a discussion, dinner reception, and an art therapy sip-and-paint. Students discussed the ways tobacco and vaping has impacted their mental health and the predatory marketing tactics Big Tobacco has used on the Black community 
  • World Mental Health Day: truth Ambassador Davida Padi commemorated World Mental Health Day The Dean of Students and Director of DEI were eager to dive into the world of truth and figure out how to implement World Mental Health Day next year at University of Scranton

Fall Milestones (cont.)

  • Tobacco Endgame Matters Podcast: truth Ambassador Jordan Watkins went on Action on Smoking & Health’s (ASH) Tobacco Endgame Matters Podcast to discuss our recent policy paper on endgame and the tobacco industry’s ongoing influence
  • Mashable article: truth Ambassador Karley “Katt” Alcantara shared her story on mental health and vaping with Mashable
  • PHAST Chapters State Youth Summit: 
    • Youth Trainers Anaya Beckles and Briana Brooks led and facilitated a conversation on the negative impact of tobacco on the environment in front of 250 middle school students across various school districts in Modesto, CA
  • It’s Time Texas x MD Anderson: 75 youth and young adults came together for a panel on engaging college populations and young voices in tobacco use prevention