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Tobacco Free Success

Breathe has dedicated time and resources to protecting the next generation from tobacco addiction and tobacco-related lung disease. We maintain several programs that aim to end tobacco influence in film and curb tobacco exposure in the world. Join us as we celebrate our tobacco control achievements.

  • Thumbs Up! Thumbs Down! (TUTD)- In 1994 Breathe decided to illuminate the effects of smoking in popular media on young people. TUTD has three objectives: to inoculate young people against pro-tobacco messaging in film, to raise public awareness on tobacco in film and to encourage Hollywood to reduce tobacco content in entertainment productions. Breathe continues to work toward this goal by organizing local youth to watch each year’s box office hits and screen and analyze them for tobacco use. TUTD research is used by the CDC, the Surgeon General, major news outlets and major universities to inform changes in media and create a tobacco-free future. Check out these studies for an example of how our research has been used.

  • Breathe Youth Media Awards- Since 1995, Breathe has hosted an awards show that recognizes the year’s films that depict the least amount of tobacco use or that most gratuitously glamorize it.


  • Breathe was central to the conception and passing of the Prop 99 tobacco tax in the 1980s, despite the tobacco industry spending over $25 million to defeat the measure. Between 1989 and 1996 the California Department of Health Services estimated 2 billion fewer packs of cigarettes had been sold in California than would have been without Prop 99. This loss for the tobacco industry lost them an estimated $3 billion in sales. In 2000 the CDC released a study that showed cancer rates had dropped five times more than it had in other parts of the country.