RC Week Resource: This Organization Can Help You Tell the Truth about Tobacco

 Published: September 26, 2017

By: Heather Willden


image of respiratory therapist breaking a cigarette

National Respiratory Care Week is coming up at the end of October, and if you are like many RTs right now, you’re busy planning educational activities in your facilities and your communities to highlight the role RTs play in advocating for lung health.

More RC Week Resources

The Truth Initiative has some great videos and other resources you may be able to incorporate into your programs.

This organization, which began in 1999 as the American Legacy Foundation, was established as the result of the landmark master settlement agreement reached between the major tobacco companies and the attorneys general of 46 states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories in 1998. It is the largest non-profit public health organization in the country dedicated to making tobacco a thing of the past.

Through aggressive campaigns, Truth Initiative has helped to lower the teen smoking rate in the U.S. from 23% in 2000 to just 6% in 2016.

Most recently, Truth Initiative has zeroed in on the way the tobacco companies have targeted people with mental health conditions, who currently consume 40% of the cigarettes smoked in this country, and those serving in our military, where statistics show 38% of young recruits begin smoking after they enlist.

Watch their Business or Exploitation? videos to see examples of the methods used by the tobacco companies to attract new smokers among these groups.

Truth Initiative is also working with college campuses to promote the smoke-free message and has resources available to help them get the job done. Scroll down this page to see another video on how Truth Initiative is assisting campuses in their effort to go tobacco-free.

Eliminating tobacco use is key to improving health for all Americans, and as the lung health experts, respiratory therapists can and should play a significant role in achieving that objective. Consider how you can use these Truth Initiative videos and other resources in your public health efforts during National Respiratory Care Week this October!

Email newsroom@aarc.org with questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you.

Heather Willden

Heather Willden is the Director of Governance and Strategic Initiatives for the AARC where she works with state affiliates as the HOD liaison. She also manages DEI efforts and strategic initiatives. Connect with her about these topics by email, AARConnect or LinkedIn. When she's not working, you can find her podcasting with her husband, exploring new hiking trails, photographing, and spending time with her family.

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