Popular summer tour to make more than 100 stops, offering life-saving

Release Date:

June 12, 2014

Washington, D.C.; June 12, 2014 – Music lovers, surfers, thrill seekers and thousands of young people across the country will be able to experience the fun, potentially life-saving messages of the nation’s largest youth smoking prevention tour. truth® begins its 15th annual summer tour on Friday, June 13 in Houston, Texas, with its first stop on the Vans Warped Tour. truth’s crew of young adult “tour riders” will interact with teens and young adults across the country – providing them with facts and information about the marketing tactics of the tobacco industry and the health effects, addictiveness and social consequences of tobacco use.

As part of a larger tour, truth will visit more than 50 cities and 25 states this summer, making more than 100 stops along the way. The tour will also participate in some new events and visit new cities. truth will partner with the Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival - a heavy metal tour - for the first time. The campaign will also visit Music City as part of the Vans Warped Tour; its truth’s first appearance ever in Nashville as part of that tour.

Two crews of tour riders will travel from June through August – one tour will be following the Vans Warped Tour for most of the summer, while the other will travel with the Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival. Both teams will participate in other events tied to music, sports, and gaming-related experiences - all common teenage passion points. Iconic orange “truth trucks” will appear at most tour stops. Trucks are rigged with a DJ booth and sound system, a dance floor, and more. At each stop, the truth “zone” will feature:

  • A fun and engaging activity space, including games, music, contests and giveaways - allowing truth tour riders to discuss tobacco issues with teens in a non-preachy way.
  • Social media games and shout-outs that encourage teens to learn and share information with their friends
  • truth-branded “gear”, including: T-shirts, hats, flip-flops, and skateboard decks.

In the United States, 86% of adult smokers start smoking by age 18. Each year more than 480,000 Americans die from tobacco-related diseases, including cancers, heart disease, emphysema and stroke. The truth campaign aims to keep young people from ever trying to smoke in the first place. Touring is a key part of the campaign’s strategy to speak directly to teens and young people who are most vulnerable to trying tobacco products.

“Last year, the truth tour reached an estimated two million teens and young adults, using fun and engaging experiences as a way to share vital health information,” said Eric Asche, Chief Marketing Officer at Legacy, the national public health foundation that directs and funds the truth campaign. “The annual summer tour has been an effective tool to reach teens for the truth campaign from the beginning of our campaign 14 years ago. Our dynamic crew of tour riders share unique and memorable experiences with the teens and young adults at these events every day. It’s our goal that each day on tour, people leave having had a good time at our tour truck and with our crew, but that they also leave with  important messages about a deadly product.”

Tour Events: 

Music, gaming and sports are common passion points for teens and young people. Tour stops this year will include popular events relating to these typical youth interests. This year’s crew of tour riders will appear at:

  • Vans Warped Tour – An annual summer music festival featuring upcoming bands as well as more well-known rock and punk acts, including Anberlin, We The Kings, and Mayday Parade.
  • Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival – Now in its seventh year, this touring metal festival’s attendance continues to grow; headliners for this year’s tour include Avenged Sevenfold and Korn.
  • Six Flags – The world’s largest regional theme park company with 18 parks across the United States, Mexico and Canada. The truth crew is appearing at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, CA; Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, CA; Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio; Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington, TX; Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, IL; Six Flags St. Louis; Six Flags America in suburban Washington, DC; and Six Flags New England in Agawam, MA.
  • Vans US Open of Surfing - The most prestigious pro surf/skate event in North America, taking place in Huntington Beach, CA, from July 26-Aug 3.
  • Vans Presents the Coastal Edge East Coast Surfing Championships – The second longest running surf contest in the world, ECSC is considered by many as the US Open of the East Coast. The event has evolved into a youth culture gathering to witness pro and amateur surf contests, skateboard demos, a BMX contest and live bands – all taking place over the course of the event – from August 20-24 in Virginia Beach, VA.
  • Vans House Parties – a free summer series of music shows live from the House of Vans in Brooklyn, NY.
  • Major League Gaming Championship - the global leader in eSports, largest competitive video game league and competitive gaming broadcaster will hold its Championship in Anaheim, CA, from June 20-22 featuring the world’s best video game players. Airing on www.MLG.tv.

thetruth.com and online

For the summer 2014 tour, ‘virtual tour experiences’ will be shared throughout truth’s network of social media properties.

  • At the main site – www.thetruth.com – Teens can play games relating to tobacco-related facts, and get free downloadable content.
  • Twitter contests – Throughout the summer truth will be giving away free tickets to the Vans Warped Tour and Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival on @truthorange. Contests serve as another way to spark dialogue between truth and anyone affected by the facts around tobacco use.
  • truth® maintains a strong presence on social networks and profile pages on Facebook (facebook.com/truthorange), YouTube (YouTube.com/truthorange), Twitter (Twitter.com/truthorange), Pinterest (Pinterest.com/truthorange), Tumblr (thetruthorange.tumblr.com) and Instagram (@truthorange). truth’s networks will all incorporate tour-related elements, including photos from each of the distinct tour events that will be posted throughout the summer.

truth Tour Zone and Riders 2014

Fashion, photography, acting, social media and social activism are just some of the passions of this year’s class of dynamic truth tour riders. At each tour stop, tour riders function as ‘masters of ceremonies’ for activities at the truth truck designed to engage teens, providing an entrée for one-on-one conversations and interactions for tobacco-related facts and messaging. At the truck, crew members hold karaoke challenges, fashion shows and dance contests; play trivia games; and distribute truth “gear” – fashionable and trendy items reflecting truth’s messages. This year’s gear will include t-shirts, hats, flip-flops, skateboard decks, and other items.

Returning truth tour rider Chelsee Warneke, from Oakland, CA, remembers attending concerts and visiting the big orange “truth truck” when she was younger.  “I had a lot of really great experiences when I used to visit the truth zone at concerts and it inspired me to want to pass that message on to others. Now, as a tour rider, I get the opportunity every day to share my experience and passion for this cause with the next generation, and hopefully share some information that will help them make positive choices around tobacco use. Who knows? Maybe one day someone will go on to become a tour rider just like I did!”

This year’s truth tour riders and their hometowns include:

Vans Warped Tour Riders:  

Tour Riders 2014: Hometown: Personal Detail:
Brooke Fitzgerald   Downingtown, PA A social media maven and active blogger who has been involved with theater since the third grade.
Shakon Fleming Atlanta, GA Loves fashion and music, and even released a collection of his own branded jogging pants.
Erin Slay Middletown, MO Graduated from Westminster College with a degree in Biology. Erin wants to be a part of something that makes a difference in people’s lives. 
Carley Sumner Miami, FL Experienced brand ambassador who seeks to inspire women and believes there is no better purpose in life than to motivate young adults.
Armando Enriquez Washington, DC Art school student now based in San Francisco. Skateboarder, photographer, and trained in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.  
Chelsee Warneke Oakland, CA Returning truth tour rider. Fashionista who works in the technology industry in San Francisco.
Carlos Zambrano Los Angeles, CA Returning truth tour rider. Graduate of University of California, Santa Barbara who plans to go back to school for his master’s degree in film production.
DJ J.Dayz  Brooklyn, NY Veteran truth tour DJ. 

Mayhem Festival Tour Riders:

Tour Riders 2014: Hometown: Personal Detail:
Lacey Bishop Antlers, OK Graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in Liberal Studies. First grade spelling bee champion.
Paul Lameiro Miami, FL Three time truth tour rider. Spanish speaker from Miami who wants to change the world in a positive way.
Desiree Gibbon Queens, NY A Spanish speaker, former actress on “Blues Clues” and world traveler.
Kelsie Lay Jones, OK An emergency medical technician (EMT) by day and thrill seeker by night who can often be found sky diving, rock climbing or cliff jumping. 
Josh Barna St. Louis, MO  Graduate of Truman State University with a degree in Journalism. Worked in adolescent drug rehab helping teens.
Serina Breezer Chicago, IL  Studied acting at Columbia College in Chicago. Amateur photographer and runner.
Cody Griswold Stroudsburg, PA Returning tour rider and Temple University graduate. DJs at clubs and has his own line of custom-designed jewelry.

truth Background

truth is a multidimensional campaign, featuring not only grassroots outreach through summer tours but also advertising, websites and interactive elements, and events. A growing body of research has confirmed the efficacy of the truth campaign in changing teens' attitudes and behaviors toward smoking. A study published in the May 2009 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine (AJPM) found that truth was directly responsible for keeping 450,000 teens from starting to smoke during its first four years, from 2000 to 2004. A second paper in that same publication found that the campaign not only paid for itself in its first two years but also saved roughly $1.9 billion and possibly up to $5.4 billion in medical care costs to society. 


truth® is the largest national youth smoking prevention campaign. 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 and information about the tobacco industry and its products, allowing them to make their own informed choices about tobacco use. Research-proven as an effective public health intervention, the campaign is credited with keeping hundreds of thousands of teens from starting to smoke. To learn more, visit www.thetruth.com. truth is directed and funded by Legacy, a national public health foundation located in Washington, D.C. Legacy was created as a result of the November 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) reached between attorneys general from 46 states, five U.S. territories and the tobacco industry. To learn more about Legacy’s life-saving programs, visit www.LegacyForHealth.org.

Follow us on Twitter @truthPR.