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Truth Initiative (formerly the American Legacy Foundation) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit tobacco control organization dedicated to preventing teen smoking and encouraging smokers to quit. It was established in March 1998 as a result of the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) between a coalition of attorneys general in 46 states and five United States territories and the tobacco industry. As of 2013, it had an annual budget of about $50 million and about $1 billion in assets.
It is also known for the creation and continued funding of the Truth Tobacco Industry Documents (TTID), a digital library hosted by the University of California, San Francisco. By September 2014, the TTID contained more than 14 million internal documents (84+ million pages) created by major tobacco companies related to their advertising, manufacturing, marketing, sales, and scientific research activities.
The Washington Post reported in 2013 that an employee of the organization had diverted about $3.4M in false computer purchases from 1999 to 2007, which the organization failed to detect because it had established inadequate financial controls, and that the organization ignored a whistleblower's efforts to call attention to the issue 6 months after diversions ended, and only responded when the whistleblower again raised the issue three years later, at which point neither criminal charges nor a recovery via a civil suit were possible.
The organization changed its name to Truth Initiative on September 8, 2015, to better connect the organization as a whole with its truth campaign, its tobacco control research and policy studies, and its community and youth activism programs.
- Truth Initiative press release. , .
- Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations
- PR Week (US) (March 5, 2007): p06.
- Joe Stephens and Mary Pat Flaherty for the Washington Post. October 26, 2013 Inside the hidden world of thefts, scams and phantom purchases at the nation’s nonprofits
- American Legacy Foundation website.
- Truth Initiative
- Become An Ex
- UCSF Tobacco Industry Videos Collection
- UCSF Tobacco Industry Audio Recordings Collection
- Rob Walker, "Ad Report Card: Tobacco, Smoked", Slate magazine, October 2, 2000
- Seth Stevenson, "How To Get Teens Not To Smoke: Prey on their insecurity", Slate magazine, March 7, 2005
- Libby Lewis, "Judge, Citing Reservations, Backs Anti-Tobacco Ads", All Things Considered, National Public Radio, August 23, 2005
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