SXSW 2022

Don’t Mess With Our Heads


Big tobacco excels in finding ways to appeal to new, unsuspecting audiences. Their most recent target: Generation Z. To them, old tobacco is deadly, but the new tobacco—Vaping—is “safe,” and convenient.

How do you combat an addictive innovation masquerading as a public health good? Rebrand the consequences.

The tobacco industry redefined nicotine for a new generation and now Truth Initiative is outing it as a silent contributor to one of the biggest issues facing young people today: mental health. While popular belief is that nicotine & vaping alleviate stress, science reveals that vaping nicotine is associated with worsening symptoms of depression & anxiety. The truth campaign used this impact on mental health as a reason for this generation to quit.

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  1. Attendees will learn about the scientific evidence associating nicotine with mental health problems.
  2. Attendees will gain information about the tobacco industry exploitation of youth, and the tactics that can be used in the fight to reduce the impact.
  3. Attendees will see examples of how impactful & powerful meaningful communications are when it comes to changing youth perception.



Kendra Schaaf, Managing Director, Mojo Supermarket

Meta Information:

  • Event: SXSW
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Advertising & Brand Experience
  • Track 2
  • Level: Intermediate

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