In This Issue                                March 2014




A Note From Robinanotefromrobin


As we leap forward into Spring, Legacy is moving ahead with full momentum. You can read more details about our efforts below, but I wanted to call-out a few of the highlights.


In early-March, it was a personal honor for me to join former Secretaries of Health Joseph Califano and Louis Sullivan along with several other distinguished speakers to release a white paper titled "Time to Ban Menthol". Also, prior to the Academy Awards, we released a reminder that smoking in the movies remains a growing threat to efforts to reduce youth smoking. In conjunction with many of our partners, we were thrilled to see 13 of 19 major awards go to smoke free movies. We also recently published a peer reviewed journal article, "The Head Start Tobacco Cessation Initiative: Using Systems Change to Support Staff Identification and Intervention for Tobacco Use in Low-Income Families," in the Journal of Community Health.


We're also proud to announce that Dr. David Abrams, Executive Director of the Schroeder Institute for Tobacco Research and Policy Studies has been presented with the 2014 Research Laureate Award from the American Academy of Health Behavior. This prestigious award honors individuals who have made significant contributions to health behavior research. As we work towards the next Smoke-Free Generation, it is vital that we understand the behaviors associated with smoking and nicotine addiction, and we are fortunate to have team members with the brilliance and esteem as Dr. Abrams does on our side.


Finally, I am also very excited to let you know about our next Warner Series lecture, which will be held on March 31, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. As part of our commitment to keep the focus on key findings in the U.S. Surgeon General's Report, we will host a panel discussion moderated by Dr. Ken Warner himself, titled "Up In Smoke? The Beginning of the End of Combustible Cigarettes". Please mark your calendars or join us via webcast for what should be a very lively debate.


I have no doubt that as we keep working towards our goal, the combination of knowledge, insight and sincere passion that we collectively bring together will help us win the war against tobacco!



Robin Koval

President and CEO, Legacy 





Citizens' Commission Calls for the End of Mentholmenthol

In a white paper released this month, CASAColumbia summarizes current research on menthol and calls on the FDA to ban the flavoring in cigarettes and other tobacco products. The Legacy-funded report,
Time to Ban Menthol was written at the request of the Citizens' Commission to Protect the Truth, a group of all living former U.S. Secretaries of Health, Education and Welfare; U.S. Secretaries of Health and Human Services; U.S. Surgeons General; and Directors of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Both the Commission and Legacy have also called for a ban on menthol flavor in tobacco products. Released at a news conference on March 5, 2014, the report details the disproportionate use of menthol tobacco products among young people and African Americans. Tobacco companies have marketed menthol products so effectively, that more than 80 percent of African Americans smokers smoke menthols. As a result, African American males have experienced lung cancer at higher rates than whites for many years. Additionally, 50 percent of 12-17 year old smokers smoke menthols - a rate dramatically higher than older smokers. Legacy President and CEO Robin Koval joined Joseph A. Califano Jr., former U.S. Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, and Founder of CASAColumbia, and Dr. Louis W. Sullivan former Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), to address the importance of banning menthol as one way of saving lives. Other speakers included:

  • Carol McGruder, Co-Chair, African American Tobacco Leadership,
  • Dr. Samuel Ball, President and CEO, CASAColumbia
  • Dr. Thelma T. Daley, Past President, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority
  • Delmonte Jefferson, Executive Director, National African American Prevention Network.  
Following the news conference, The Citizens' Commission to Protect the Truth issued public letters to the executives of three major tobacco companies, calling for an immediate end to the marketing and selling menthol cigarettes. 
Legacy CEO and President Robin Koval (third from right) with Carol McGruder, Dr. Louis W. Sullivan, Joseph A. Califano Jr., Dr. Thelma Daley, Samuel Ball, and Delmonte Jefferson

To learn more, read the report from the CASA Columbia and the Citizens' Commission. 





Join Us! First Warner Series to Discuss Endgame warner


On March 31, Legacy will host a live-webcasted panel discussion addressing key findings in the 2014 U.S. Surgeon General's Report on the health consequences of smoking including how to innovatively and more rapidly end the premature deaths caused by cigarette smoking - because it is the burning or combusting of the tobacco that produces the most lethal tars, toxins and carbon monoxide that prematurely kill about half of all cigarette smokers in the United States. In the report, the Surgeon General states "The burden of death and disease from tobacco use in the United States is overwhelmingly caused by cigarettes and other combusted tobacco products; rapid elimination of their use will dramatically reduce this burden....[However] the promotion of noncombustible products is much more likely to provide public health benefits only in an environment where the appeal, accessibility, promotion, and use of cigarettes and other combusted tobacco products are being rapidly reduced."


Panelists will discuss:

  • Issues surrounding the elimination of combustible cigarettes (and possibly all combustible tobacco products);
  • Regulations and taxes that make them less appealing, less addictive, less harmful  and more expensive; and
  • E-cigarettes that represent an evolving frontier, one filled with added promise to speed the demise of cigarettes, but also with potential risks because they could threaten to undermine youth prevention and indoor air restrictions and delay cessation of combustible cigarettes by encouraging dual use of both products.

This Warner Series panel discussion will consider ways to speed the end of combustible cigarettes, and the role that alternative products such as e-cigarettes could play in ending cigarette smoking that prematurely kills more than 480,000 people each year.


The event will be moderated by Kenneth E. Warner, PhD, Professor, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, and Founding Board Member, Legacy. Panelists include:

  • David Abrams, PhD, Executive Director, The Schroeder Institute for Tobacco Research and Policy Studies, Legacy and Professor, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Georgetown University Medical Center
  • Dorothy Hatsukami, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry and Adjunct Professor of Psychology and of Epidemiology at the University of Minnesota, and Director of the Tobacco Use Research Programs
  • Bonnie Herzog, Managing Director, Wells Fargo Securities, LLC
  • Tim McAfee, MD, MPH, Director, Office on Smoking and Health, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Craig Weiss, President and Chief Executive Officer, NJOY  E-Cigarettes 

 Register now to attend the event, or view the live webcast here




Communities Across America Kick Butts!KickButts


On the 19th of March, thousands of events in schools and communities across the country helped raise tobacco awareness as part of National Kick Butts Day. Organized by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK), the annual day of action empowers youth to stand up and speak out against Big Tobacco. Learn more about National Kick Butts Day and the action events from this year. By working together, community groups across the country can help make tobacco history. 


Events like National Kick Butts Day can help make tobacco history!




Published! The Journal Of Community Health Features Legacy's Head Start Initiative HeadStart


Tobacco is not an equal opportunity killer. Rates of tobacco use are disproportionately higher among low-income communities, as well as among minorities. In 2004, Legacy began working with Head Start to implement a pilot program that would address tobacco cessation at four Head Start sites. Head Start serves low-income adults and their children, and offers an efficient way to reach children and their family members who are vulnerable to tobacco use. The initiative enables participating Head Start programs to incorporate effective cessation protocols into their existing child development and family services infrastructure, giving Legacy a terrific opportunity to spread awareness about this issue at the community level.    


The Tobacco Cessation Initiative, created through a partnership between Legacy, the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, and the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center School of Public Health, was developed to educate families about the risks associated with exposure to secondhand smoke. A report detailing the initiative was recently published in the Journal of Community Health. Learn more about Legacy's partnership with Head Start for healthier children and families.   




truth Featured in Hulu's My Side of the Skytruth


Extending its connections with young people, truth was featured on My Side of the Sky, a new Hulu Spotlight series available now on Hulu and Hulu Plus. My Side of the Sky tells the real-life stories of six teenagers who attend Windells Academy in Oregon, a boarding school where skaters, skiers and snowboarders go to live, learn and prepare for extreme sporting careers.


truth was highlighted in two of the six episodes. Rather than just serving up messages, truth always aims to reach teens and young people naturally through 'passion points' - pursuits like music, fashion, sports and gaming. Partnering with My Side of the Sky and the Windells Academy is another way for the campaign to engage teens in the tobacco conversation.  In addition to the skate competition that truth brought to the Windells Academy, four truth-branded behind-the-scenes videos delved further into My Side of the Sky characters. My Side of the Sky extends a number of truth-related ventures into the world of skateboarding and snowboarding. New episodes of My Side of the Sky air every Thursday on Hulu and Hulu Plus. Read more about the collaboration. 




 Spotlight: 2014-2015 Legacy Youth Activism Fellow, Vincent IrvingVincent


This month, we turn the spotlight to Vincent Irving, from Tallahassee, Florida. Vincent became involved in tobacco control at a very young age when he joined the Marine Corps League Young Marines drug demand reduction program at the age of 10. For the past five years, Vincent has served as the Students Working Against Tobacco Coordinator for Leon County, Florida, where he has tripled youth membership, through engaging every middle school in the county. He also currently serves as a Tobacco Prevention Specialist at the Florida Department of Health in Leon County.




Through the Youth Activism Fellowship, Vincent hopes to acquire the leadership tools that will help him keep the topic of tobacco relevant in his community. Listen to Vincent discuss the power of youth in the tobacco control movement. To learn more about Legacy's Youth Activism Fellowship, visit the program's website.




This March, Take Care of Your Tush!Tush


Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 50,000 people die each year from colorectal cancer in the United States. The 2014 Surgeon General's Report on the health consequences of smoking made the critical connection between smoking and the increased risk of colorectal cancer, and the CDC actively recommends smoking cessation, as well as avoiding secondhand smoke, to reduce risk of developing this disease.  


The CDC has issued multiple resources for assessing and diagnosing colorectal cancer, including this infographic. The CDC also recommends that individuals between the ages of 50 and 75 get screened regularly and talk to their doctor about quitting smoking. To learn more about colorectal cancer as well as screening options, visit the CDC's website




Create, Paint, Educate! Apply for the Alma S. Adams ScholarshipAlmaAdams


The Doctor Alma S. Adams Scholarship for Outreach and Health Communications to Reduce Tobacco Use Among Priority Populations, will award $5,000 each to two students who have shown a commitment to reducing tobacco use through community service for an underserved community, and through the use of the visual arts. The funds may be used towards tuition, books, and related living expenses while attending any accredited college or university within the United States.


Named for founding Legacy Board member, Dr. Alma S. Adams, the scholarship commemorates her tireless work of giving voice to the concerns of underserved populations. In addition to having been a lawmaker in the North Carolina House of Representatives, Dr. Alma S. Adams is also a professional artist and educator as a Professor of Art at Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, North Carolina.  Applications are due April 30, 2014, so learn more about the scholarship and submit an application today.






Changing the Way we Look at Tobacco, One Butt at a Timeonebuttatatime


Each April 22nd, more than a billion people around the world celebrate Earth Day. Last year, Legacy teamed up with the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, based in Boulder, Colorado, to encourage people to help stop toxic litter and rethink cigarette butts by raising awareness with a joint public service announcement.  Cigarette butts are the most littered item globally, leaching toxic chemicals and carcinogens -that pollute the environment. Whether you plan to host a cigarette butt clean-up, or share a message about the environmental impact through your own social media platforms, visit to access a toolkit with ideas on ways to help stop toxic litter. Learn more about using the PSA in donated media space by emailing [email protected]





Tobacco Industry Online Ads Increasingly Focus on Emerging Productsadsstudy


A study conducted by Legacy and published in the peer-reviewed journal Tobacco Control found that online advertisements from tobacco companies largely focus on emerging products such as electronic cigarettes, snus, and cigars. The study is the first to conduct comprehensive surveillance of all tobacco and e-cigarette online banner/video advertising in the U.S. and Canada occurring online over the course of a full year.


The study shows that tobacco and e-cigarette advertisements were found on more than half of the 250 websites that were monitored. E-cigarette ads were predominantly found on websites focused on music and entertainment or news, and websites that had the highest percentages of youth audiences. Findings from the study conclude that online advertising has allowed the tobacco industry to promote these products in a space that has broad reach and is for now, largely unregulated.







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Create, Paint, Educate! Apply for the Alma S. Adams Scholarship


Los Angeles Follows a Recent Trend: Bans Vaping Indoors


Commission Calls for FDA Ban on Menthol


Young E-Cigarette Users are Less Likely to Quit Smoking


FDA Called on to Regulate E-Cigarettes


Sign up: Tobacco Industry Documents Workshop 

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                Legacy is dedicated to building a world where young people reject tobacco and anyone can quit. 
               � 2012 American Legacy Foundation