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truth and Girl Scouts Team Up to Take on Environmental Tobacco Pollution


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More than 4.5 trillion cigarette butts are littered worldwide each year. Truth Initiative Ò, the national public health organization building a culture where all youth and young adults reject tobacco, has partnered with Girl Scouts Nation’s Capital in the Greater Washington Region, to engage more than 2,000 girls in the fight against tobacco.

The ‘Earth Defender’ curriculum teaches Girl Scouts how to become the generation to end smoking, by taking a stand against the most polluted item in the world: cigarettes butts. Through this partnership with Truth Initiative, Girl Scouts is incorporating the nationally recognized truth campaign from Truth Initiative into the Girl Scout Leadership Experience program, through its three keys to leadership – Discover, Connect and Take Action!

“Almost all smokers (99%) start by the time they turn 26, making it crucial for us to provide young people with the tools necessary to recognize the industry’s manipulative tactics and take a stand against a product deadly to the environment and its users,” said Amy Taylor, Senior Vice President of Community and Youth Engagement at Truth Initiative. “By partnering with the Girl Scouts, we are able to reach thousands of girls and channel their creativity and interest in the environment to help form the generation that ends tobacco use for good.”

The partnership will expand on the Girl Scout’s mission to build girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place. This first-of-its-kind, tobacco prevention curriculum will teach girls about the environmental impact of tobacco and the facts about smoking.

This program is being integrated into a variety of camp activities for Girl Scouts of all ages. Participants will receive an Earth Defender patch and cape to celebrate their completion of the curriculum. Additionally, girls who have progressed through the Girl Scout levels will serve as role models, facilitating the truth and Girl Scout curriculum to youth enrolled in the organization’s community based and summer sleep-away camps. This rollout of ‘Earth Defenders’ will serve as a pilot program, with the potential to expand into future years.  

Lidia Soto-Harmon, CEO Girl Scouts Nation’s Capital added, “We are excited to team up with truth to deliver this impactful program to Girl Scouts at our camps. We are challenging this generation, who care so deeply about protecting the environment, to eliminate the most littered item—cigarettes.”

Girl Scout Harkiran Singh, from troop 1923 in Clifton, Virginia is available for interview.

Her story: I participated in the Girl Scout Core Camp—Earth Defenders and was motivated by the truth foundation and their work inspiring tobacco free lives, so as my take-action project  I created signs that listed facts about tobacco products and included pictures of the cigarette butts that litter the ground at the Fair Oaks mall. I created four eye-catching signs to put at the intersection of each street to spread awareness in people when they drive past. I knew I had to take action so people would notice the signs. Consequently, I went to the street that is adopted by my Girl Scout troop and cleaned up all the trash and cigarette butts. 

About Truth Initiative®
Truth Initiative is a national public health organization that is inspiring tobacco-free lives and building a culture where all youth and young adults reject tobacco. The truth about tobacco and the tobacco industry are at the heart of our proven-effective and nationally recognized truth ® public-education campaign, our rigorous and scientific research and policy studies, and our innovative community and youth engagement programs supporting populations at high risk of using tobacco. The Washington, D.C., -based organization, formerly known as Legacy, was established and funded through the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement between attorneys general from 46 states, five U.S. territories and the tobacco industry. To learn more about how Truth Initiative speaks, seeks and spreads the truth about tobacco, visit truthinitiative.org.

About truth®
truth is one of the largest and most successful youth tobacco prevention campaigns. The campaign exposes the tactics of the tobacco industry, the truth about addiction and the health effects and social consequences of smoking. truth gives teens facts to make their own informed choices about tobacco use and inspires them to use their creativity in the fight against tobacco. The campaign is credited with preventing hundreds of thousands of teens from starting to smoke and is empowering this generation to end smoking for good. To learn more, visit thetruth.com. truth is part of Truth Initiative® , a national public health organization dedicated to achieving a culture where all youth and young adults reject tobacco. To learn more about Truth Initiative, visit truthinitiative.org.