Gen-Z Fights Back Against Tobacco Giant Altria

Nearly 100 youth gather in Washington D.C. to protest Altria’s shareholder meeting and expose Big Tobacco’s lies and schemes to addict kids

WASHINGTON, May 18, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — This morning, over 125 youth and advocates from 15 different states will protest tobacco giant Altria’s annual shareholders meeting. These advocates are holding a demonstration outside Altria’s Washington, D.C. office, while several youth activists have been made designees by shareholders to directly address Altria’s executives and ask questions during the virtual shareholders’ meeting.

This year marks the eighth consecutive year that Mobilize Against Tobacco Lies (MATL), a collaborative of youth programs and national partners, will gather to expose and fight back against the tobacco giant.

Altria and its Philip Morris USA subsidiary sell the number one most popular cigarette brand among kids, Marlboro, and its John Middleton subsidiary sells the second most popular brand of cigars among kids, Black & Mild. Altria has long targeted kids and other vulnerable groups with its products and also invested in Juul at the height of the youth e-cigarette epidemic. Altria claims to be “moving beyond smoking,” but the truth is that they make most of their revenue from cigarettes and fight real efforts to reduce smoking like bans on menthol cigarettes.

Despite Altria and the tobacco industry’s efforts, the United States has made great progress to reduce youth smoking. However, the latest government survey shows over 3 million U.S. middle and high school students still use tobacco products, including over 2.5 million who use e-cigarettes.


Over 125 youth and other advocates will protest Altria’s shareholder meeting to expose how Altria profits off cigarettes and other tobacco products, addicts kids, and fights real efforts to reduce tobacco use.


Mobilize Against Tobacco Lies is a collaborative of tobacco control youth programs and national partners, including seven youth programs and five national partners:

Reality Check of New York       

Delaware Kick Butts 

Michigan Making It Count   


Texas Say What   

Indigenous Peoples Task Force

New Hampshire Dover Youth to Youth   

Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawaii   

Corporate Accountability        

Wisconsin FACT

Counter Tools                                                         

Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids 

Center for Black Health and Equity 

Truth Initiative 


Today – Thursday, May 18, 2023, at 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM ET


Altria’s Lobbyist Office

101 Constitution Ave NW, #400W, Washington, D.C. 20001

SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

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