Tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable death and disease. 151,000 kids under 18 alive today in Indiana will ultimately die prematurely from smoking – if we don’t do more.

According to the Surgeon General’s report, tobacco use by youth and young adults causes both immediate and long-term damage. One of the most serious health effects is nicotine addiction, which prolongs tobacco use and can lead to severe health consequences. The younger youth are when they start using tobacco, the more likely they’ll be addicted.

  • Early cardiovascular damage is seen in most young smokers; those most sensitive die very young.
  • Smoking reduces lung function and retards lung growth. Teens who smoke are not only short of breath today, they may end up as adults with lungs that will never grow to full capacity. Such damage is permanent and increases the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
  • Youth are sensitive to nicotine and can feel dependent earlier than adults. Because of nicotine addiction, about three out of four teen smokers end up smoking into adulthood, even if they intend to quit after a few years.
  • Among youth who persist in smoking, one out of three will die prematurely from smoking.

Tobacco companies spend more than a million dollars an hour in this country alone to market their products. Many tobacco products on the market contain candy and fruit flavoring which appeal to youth. The more young people are exposed to cigarette advertising and promotional activities, the more likely they are to smoke.



Let us continue saving lives by eliminating Tobacco use.

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

About Vape-Free Indiana

Indiana teens are more likely to use vaping devices than cigarettes. The increase in vaping among youth is rising at such an alarming rate that the U.S. Surgeon General is calling it an epidemic that “demands action to protect the lives of young people.”

Click here to view the 2018 Indiana Youth Tobacco Survey summary

Indiana’s 3-Pronged Approach


CATCH® My Breath

Sweet Deception

Mass-Media Campaigns

This is Quitting


We use provocative, creative and innovative approaches to influence culture, inspire youth and young adults and initiate action. All grounded in research. All to achieve a tobacco-free generation.

Our truth® campaign changes culture to save lives

We expose the truth about tobacco with our national counter-marketing campaign, the longest-running and most successful national tobacco prevention campaign for youth and young adults. truth delivers the facts about the health effects and social consequences of tobacco use and the marketing tactics of the tobacco industry so that young people can make informed choices and influence others to do the same. Developed from extensive formative research, the campaign goes toe-to-toe with an industry that spends more than $9 billion each year to market tobacco products in the U.S. We are David to Big Tobacco’s Goliath.

With high brand awareness of nearly 80% among young people and an outstanding record of success, we are sharing our expertise in youth and young adult education and prevention to help end the opioid epidemic. Truth Initiative launched a public education truth education and prevention campaign, The Truth About Opioids, in partnership with the Office of National Drug Control Policy and the Ad Council, designed to help young people understand the dangers of opioid misuse.

We connect with youth and young adults

Our brand is ubiquitous in youth culture. Online and in-person, we take on the tobacco industry and expose the truth about its products. Whether it is through provocative videos, creative digital and social channels, signature truth-branded merchandise or our presence at popular music and sports events with iconic “truth trucks,”  we connect with youth and young adults through the venues they understand and trust.

A track record of saving lives

The truth works. We know that truth has prevented millions of young people from becoming smokers and helped drive down the youth smoking rate from 23% in 2000 to now just 3.7%.

Helping end the opioid crisis

In 2018, after nearly a year of formative work, Truth Initiative launched the public education truth prevention campaign, The Truth About Opioids, in partnership with the Office of National Drug Control Policy and the Ad Council. The campaign is designed to help young people understand the dangers of opioid misuse and addiction and the role they can play in creating change.

Rewarding work

Saving lives is the true measure of our success, but winning awards never hurts. We have racked up more than 450 industry awards — and counting — for our effectiveness and creativity, including multiple Emmy, Cannes Lion, Effie, Clio and Webby awards. truth was even named a top 15 campaign of the 21st century by AdAge and is considered the most successful public health education campaign in modern history. But we’ll never rest on our laurels. Our biggest success will be when tobacco use is a thing of the past.