Robin Koval, CEO and President of Truth Initiative, discusses the nuances between vaping and smoking and their impact on mental health and anxiety. We also delve into some common beliefs about nicotine and answer the question “Is it true that vaping is safer than smoking?” Join us as the Truth Initiative tells us, you guessed it, the truth!
To learn more -- or read the transcript -- please visit the official episode page.
Our guest, Robin Koval, is CEO and President of Truth Initiative®, the national public health organization dedicated to achieving a culture where all young people reject smoking, vaping, and nicotine.
Since joining Truth Initiative in 2013, Koval has transformed the national award-winning truth® youth tobacco prevention campaign and grown the organization’s world-class research, youth activism, and digital cessation programs. Under her leadership, truth has prevented millions of young people from becoming smokers and helped drive the youth smoking rate to a historic low of less than 2%. As youth e-cigarette use skyrocketed, Koval expanded the organization’s reach to be a leader in the fight against the youth e-cigarette crisis and all forms of youth nicotine addiction. Research now shows that truth campaign awareness is significantly associated with lower likelihood of vaping among young people ages 15–24. She has led the expansion of the truth brand to include innovative quitting tools and resources designed to protect and empower young people to live nicotine-free lives, including the first-of-its kind text message quit vaping program for teens and young adults, This is Quitting, which has enrolled over 570,000 since launch and a national youth e-cigarette prevention curriculum Vaping: Know the truth, now reaching almost 6,000 schools across the country.
During her tenure, truth has been voted one of the most influential campaigns of the 21st century and named the most effective brand of the year by the American Marketing Association. Fast Company has recognized Truth Initiative as one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies and a top ten nonprofit organization in 2022.
Prior to joining Truth Initiative, Koval, a highly acclaimed leader in the advertising and marketing world, was co-founder and CEO of the Kaplan Thaler Group, which she grew from a fledgling start-up in 1997 to a billion-dollar agency working with leading brands such as Procter & Gamble, Pfizer, Wendy’s, and Aflac. She was named CEO when her agency merged with Publicis to become Publicis Kaplan Thaler and led the 700-person agency to become the fifth largest in New York City. In addition, Koval is a New York Times best-selling author. She and co-author Linda Kaplan Thaler have written several books, including Grit to Great: How Perseverance, Passion and Pluck Take You from Ordinary to Extraordinary, The Power of Nice, and The Power of Small.
Our host, Gabe Howard, is an award-winning writer and speaker who lives with bipolar disorder. He is the author of the popular book, "Mental Illness is an Asshole and other Observations," available from Amazon; signed copies are also available directly from the author.
Gabe makes his home in the suburbs of Columbus, Ohio. He lives with his supportive wife, Kendall, and a Miniature Schnauzer dog that he never wanted, but now can’t imagine life without.
To book Gabe for your next event or learn more about him, please visit gabehoward.com.
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