More than 4.5 trillion cigarette butts are littered worldwide each year. Truth Initiative®, 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.”