From 1995 to 1996, the American Medical Association, Chicago, created the Coordinating Committee to Prevent Tobacco Use by Youth (Committee), which brought together several tobacco control organizations to conduct a six-month national public education and information campaign about child and teen tobacco use.
An unprecedented upswing in smoking by 8th to 12th graders during the early 1990s prompted the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to seek ways to educate the public and policymakers about the problem of youth smoking.
The Committee was part of an umbrella effort called the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (Campaign), which also was funded by diverse organizations.
The Campaign provided a more descriptive public name and more flexibility for the activities of its partner organizations, including the Committee.
- Conducted press conferences highlighting research on tobacco advertising and teen smoking.
- Placed advertisements in major print media underscoring the relationship between tobacco industry promotional efforts and teen smoking.
- Provided experts for commentary on the issue of teen smoking for newspaper articles, talk radio, and other media outlets.
- Built relationships with more than 100 organizations, including many that historically had not focused on tobacco issues.
- Served as a planning vehicle for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to create the National Center for Tobacco-Free Kids (Center), a 501(c)(3) organization that promotes programs to reduce smoking among children.
- The Center was established by RWJF in January 1996, and supported through March 2004 (ID#s 028989, 029600 and 035929).
RWJF supported the project with a grant of $453,154 between September 1995 and March 1996.