Your email address or phone number

Forgot password?  Create Account

Kick Butts Day is a program of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

Kick Butts Blog

Youth advocates head to New York City to #StopMarlboro

Posted by Erica Olmstead on 22 May 2015

Youth advocates gathered outside Philip Morris International’s annual shareholders meeting in New York City on May 6 for a rally to stop the “Be Marlboro” ad campaign, which targets youth in more than 60 countries.

The youth advocates came from various states and Canada to take part in the event and a full-day activism training the day before. As PMI shareholders met inside a hotel, the youth educated passersby about the #StopMarlboro campaign, which asked people to sign a petition urging health officials around the world to ban “Be Marlboro” and protect kids from PMI’s attempts to target them. Participants held posters, passed out postcards with information on the campaign and encouraged people to visit the campaign’s website to sign the petition. They also collected hundreds of petition signatures.

Jeff the Diseased Lung, the mascot created by HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, joined the protest. Jeff was designed to be a mascot that highlights the destructive nature of tobacco use and an alternative to campaigns like “Be Marlboro” that glamorize it.

After the shareholder’s meeting ended, the kids moved the rally to Times Square. There, they participated in a flash mob with dozens of other tobacco control advocates to help raise awareness about PMI’s bad behavior. Watch the video of the flash mob below:

To learn more about the #StopMarlboro campaign and take action today, visit

Related Keywords: philip morris international,
About Erica OlmsteadErica Olmstead currently serves as the Youth Advocacy Associate Director at the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. Her tobacco control journey began as a youth advocate in New York 13 years ago.
Questions? Need help?