Smoking tobacco, as well as exposure to second-hand smoke, is the leading cause of preventable death (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2014). Yet many people believe that tobacco is normal. Why?
Tobacco companies know that access to tobacco products, brand recognition, and peer pressure increase the odds that someone will start smoking. And once a person starts smoking, it's very difficult to quit because tobacco contains nicotine, which is extremely addictive (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017b).
In a perfect world, tobacco marketing and advertising would not exist, personal influence would never contribute to tobacco use, no one would smoke, and millions of people would live much, much longer. But that's not the world we live in.
Companies that manufacture tobacco, as well as retailers who sell it, make more money when they target poor, working class people, who lack education. From a marketing perspective, that makes perfect sense. As people become more educated, they're better able to understand the connection between smoking, chronic disease and death.
Our mission is to ensure that each person has access to information about the health consequences of smoking, without concern for their age, gender identity, culture, education, or social and economic status.
We don't care if you are young or old, rich or poor, gay or straight, black, white, brown or green. We want you to talk about what tobacco is and what it does. As long as tobacco proves to be the deadliest product in history, we want you and the people you care about to have that conversation. Here is Amanda's story.
This section contains a list of references for the information that's used on Our Mission. Some references include a link that can be used to open the original source in a separate browser window.