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Press Release

truth® and BIGS are joining forces to save your taste buds one pack of seeds at a time

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Smoking can dull — or kill — your taste buds by changing the blood supply they receive. truth®, one of the largest and most effective youth smoking prevention campaigns, has partnered with BIGS® Sunflower Seeds to draw attention to the topic of tobacco, the ways in which its chemicals impact your taste buds and how sunflower seeds can help current smokers quit.

Seventy percent of smokers want to quit, yet only 7.4 percent are able to each year. Chewing sunflower seeds can help curb cravings and are sometimes used by people trying to quit smoking. As part of this collaboration, truth x BIGS will distribute mini bags of “#ChewOnThis Smoking Kills Your Taste Buds” sunflower seeds nationwide at a variety of events, including the Vans Warped Tour, High School Nation, Nitro Circus and select minor league baseball games. The bags will feature humorous farewell messages bidding goodbye to some of the most popular BIGS Sunflower Seeds flavors, including Dill Pickle, Bacon and Ranch.

“Our partnership with BIGS provides a unique opportunity to reach youth and young adults in an unexpected way,” said Eric Asche, chief marketing officer of Truth Initiative®, the national public health organization that directs and funds the truth campaign. “We hope these products will start a conversation on the dangers of tobacco use. Having a tangible product in market that conveys our message is a perfect opportunity to increase the relevancy of the truth message. We are thrilled to work with BIGS on this lifesaving work.”

The truth x BIGS partnership is particularly well-suited to reach young athletes, a population with whom tobacco prevention is particularly important, as high school athletes use smokeless tobacco products nearly twice as much as their non-athlete counterparts. For many years, major league baseball players have used sunflower seeds to help them quit using smokeless tobacco products, like "chew."

“Sunflower seeds are a great alternative to tobacco products, and BIGS is proud to partner with truth in its mission to end tobacco use among our youth,” said Greg O’Neal, vice president of marketing for BIGS Sunflower Seeds. “By placing compelling messages about the hazards of tobacco usage on bags of BIGS seeds, we hope to provide our younger generations with the information and tools needed to make their own smart choices regarding tobacco habits.”

Since 2000, truth has helped bring teen cigarette use down from 23 percent to less than 6 percent in 2018. The truth x BIGS collaboration is part of the movement to inspire youth and young adults to be the generation that ends smoking for good. By encouraging young people to use their social influence and creativity in the fight against Big Tobacco, truth continues to take on an industry that spends $1 million each hour on marketing alone.

To learn more about how truth x BIGS are calling on people to save taste buds, visit

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