Tobacco-Free Action Network
Pilot Project Evaluation
Lori Fresina – TFAN Project Manager
Carter Headrick – Grassroots Manager
Debra Rosen, M&R Strategic Services
Over the past three years, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (TFK) has recruited over 300,000
tobacco-control online activists, called E-Champions. TFK has engaged the E-Champions on a
variety of national tobacco-control initiatives and has been able to track their responses according
to their Federal, State and local legislative districts.
Recognizing the promise that the E-Champions held for grassroots activity on the state and local
levels, TFK teamed up last year with tobacco-control coalitions in Massachusetts, Nebraska, New
Hampshire, Ohio and Texas1 to launch a pilot program called the Tobacco-Free Action Network
(TFAN). The goals of the TFAN pilot project were threefold:
1. Generate powerful grassroots pressure online and offline at the local, state and federal
2. Move online activists to offline activities.
3. Connect and coordinate local and national efforts.
The states in the TFAN pilot project received:
Full access to the lists of the E-Champions in their states.
Detailed needs assessments & individualized state action plans.
State accounts in Grassroots Multiplier to manage email lists and create interactive Web
Phone numbers for e-Champions if available.
State-of-the-art technology for engaging and managing online activists.
Training on using e-activism best practices and latest trends in grassroots organizing.
Assistance in implementing campaigns using online and offline actions.
$10,000 grants to cover the costs of grassroots education and organizing at the state and
Participants in the TFAN pilot project were consulted on all national alerts that TFK issued to E-
Champions in the TFAN states. In order to provide a consistent tone and voice, and to protect
TFK from potential legal problems, email messages to E-Champions were professionally edited
and approved by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.
The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids’ partnership with the TFAN state coalitions helped to build
the state coalitions’ capacity to conduct grassroots organizing on local tobacco-control initiatives.
TFAN allowed the local chapters of the American Heart Association, American Lung Association
and American Cancer Society to motivate their members to become more invested in local
tobacco-control policies, learn more about online organizing and advocacy, and gain valuable skills
The TFAN partnership in Texas was dissolved before Texas could start the project. See Lessons Learned, Section
I.A for more information.
in grassroots organizing. TFAN enabled all of the partner organizations and TFK to collectively
inspire E-Champions to become better tobacco-control advocates.
This evaluation presents Key Findings from the work conducted in the TFAN states, anecdotal
information on the TFAN projects in each state, “Lessons Learned” through implementation of
the pilot projects, and suggestions for expanding the program as it moves into its second year.
1. E-Champions have impacted tobacco-control legislation in all of the TFAN states.
Elected Officials and Key Stakeholders (grass-tops leaders in the Tobacco-control and
Public Health communities) identified the online correspondence between constituents and
policymakers as an effective way of communicating support on tobacco-control legislation.
Moreover, follow-up interviews with Elected Officials revealed that the email messages they
received from constituents helped them appreciate how many people in their districts were
mobilized around tobacco-control.
2. Key Stakeholders at the American Lung Association, American Heart Association,
American Cancer Society and the American Medical Association in Massachusetts,
New Hampshire, and Ohio are pleased with the success of TFAN. In follow- up
interviews, many Key Stakeholders stated that they believed the TFAN experience to be a
good model to bring to their own groups. Exposure to the TFAN pilot project helped to
make Key Stakeholders better grassroots organizers.
3. The success of TFAN directly corresponds to the investment that the partnering
coalition makes to the project. In Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Ohio, the
coalitions were able to get more out of the project because they committed a staff member
to work on TFAN. TFAN partners in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Ohio estimated
that they spent an average of 20 hours per month on TFAN-related work. In these three
states, coalitions were able to think proactively about using the resources at their disposal.
However, the pilot project in Nebraska demonstrated that when a coalition was unable to
commit time to TFAN, the project was less successful.
4. Offline events are an excellent way to more deeply engage E-Champions in
tobacco-control issues. In follow-up interviews, E-Champions stated that the offline
events provided them with more information on the dangers of tobacco use. They also
indicated that the offline events provided them with new opportunities to engage in tobacco-
5. TFAN partners have become more effective online and offline organizers. With
access to Grassroots Multiplier software, TFAN partners learned to think more strategically
about targeting grassroots appeals. Offline event organizing also helped the TFAN states to
consider how to further engage E-Champions and help them develop into local leaders. A
great example of this was in New Hampshire where TFAN partners conducted one-on-one
meetings with core E-Champions.
6. It is imperative that the local elected officials who receive email messages from E-
Champions fully understand that the messages are from their own constituents. In
follow-up interviews, local elected officials were unaware that some of the messages that
they received came from their constituents. Indeed, all of the TFAN actions connected E-
Champions with their representatives. However, other organizations operating in the TFAN
states were sending messages to elected officials from advocates who were not constituents.
For example, City Council Members in Lincoln, NE received emails from activists in CA.
This became particularly problematic for local elected officials who do not have a staff or a
public email address. In order to ensure that all email messages from E-Champions get the
attention of local legislators, the email alerts must be reformatted to make the constituent’s
contact information more noticeable.
7. TFAN states feed off of the successes of each other. When one state develops an
original idea for engaging E-Champions, other states are likely to find similar success when
implementing the same strategy. For example, TFAN partner Tobacco-Free Ohio pioneered
the idea of asking E-Champions to submit their own personal “second-hand smoke stories.”
This request differed from the national Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids’ “Voices” request
because it asked for information specifically on second-hand smoke experiences. “Second-
hand smoke stories” were also meant to give momentum to local Clean Indoor Air
The idea was a big hit in Ohio and inspired New Hampshire to issue requests for stories. In
both states combined, over 100 E-Champions have submitted second-hand smoke stories.
8. E-Champion Expectations. In follow-up interviews with E-Champions who
participated in both online and off-line activities, all expressed that their interest in tobacco-
control had increased over the past year. According to the E-Champions interviewed, the
most successful message of the TFAN campaigns was on Clean Indoor Air initiatives.
9. The TFAN partners all had a good grasp of the Grassroots Multiplier software.
With the exception of SmokeLess Nebraska, all of the TFAN partners agreed that the
training and ongoing technical support was very helpful in using the software throughout the
program. All of the partners believe that on-site, one-on-one technology training might have
been more helpful in the early stages of the pilot project and recommend such a strategy for
new TFAN states.
10. TFK must streamline the system to approve alerts. The easiest way to make the
program more successful is to streamline TFK’s alert approval process since the process did
hinder some states from using the system effectively. Smokeless Nebraska reported
significant problems with the process. Other states also reported problems and/or ignored
the approval process and sent out alerts without approval.
11. The $10,000 grant did not seem to make a measurable impact on TFAN success.
The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids offered a $10,000 mini-grant to attract interest in the
pilot program among tobacco-control coalitions. However, the most underutilized portion
of the TFAN project was probably the $10,000 grant provided to each state. In future
versions of this program, this grant can be made into a “special opportunities” fund, where
states could apply for a grant but it would not bed guaranteed to each state.
.III. EXPECTATIONS OF PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS
At the outset of the TFAN project, all of the participants (see full list in Appendix #) were
provided with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids’ expectations of the project.
Expectations of TFAN participants were also detailed in the individual contracts with the
partnering coalitions. Across the board, the TFAN states were expected to:
1. Draft and issue 6-12 email action alerts over the course of one year.
Result: All TFAN states issued 6-12 action alerts to the E-Champions in
their states. By some margin, Tobacco-Free Ohio went above and beyond
the expectations by sending nearly 100 alerts to regionally-targeted E-
Champions. At the other end of the spectrum, Smokeless Nebraska barely
exceeded the minimum expectation of action alerts sent to E-Champions.
2. Increase the ability of state coalitions to conduct grassroots organizing.
Result: All TFAN participants interviewed stated that the TFAN project
helped them increase their capacity to conduct grassroots organizing and
enhanced their grassroots organizing skills. Participants cited the ability to
target action alerts and offline event invitations to specific regions as a
helpful grassroots-organizing tool. Additionally, participants overwhelming
believed that the ability to see the results of action alerts in “real time” – the
capacity to track which E-Champions had taken action on alerts the moment
that the actions occurred – was particularly helpful in devising strategies to
reach key legislators.
3. Increase the issue expertise and interest of E-Champions.
Result: E-Champions in the TFAN states were provided with information
on both national and local tobacco-control initiatives. In follow-up
interviews with E-Champions that participated in offline activities in the
TFAN states, all stated that they were more aware of local tobacco-control
efforts as a result of their involvement with TFAN.
4. Increase offline activity of e-activists (Goal: 1% increase)
Result: The results on offline activity are difficult to quantify because only
one of the TFAN states, Massachusetts, invested time in coding E-
Champions that attended offline events. In the state of Massachusetts,
Tobacco-Free Mass recorded that 31 E-Champions participated in
community forums held in the state.
5. Improve the response rate to action alerts (Goal: 3% increase)
o Result: TFAN was not successful in improving the response rates of E-
Champions to national alerts. As the chart below indicates, national alerts in
TFAN states experienced a reduction in response rates over the course of the
pilot project. However, it is worth noting that overall response rates for all
TFK E-Champions also fell during this period, in part as a result of the
challenges presented by the increase in SPAM.
The data in this chart show E-Champions who received national action alerts
in April 2003 and in August 2004. The overall response rate for the entire
list fell by 2.4%. Two of the TFAN states had a stronger drop in response
rates (Massachusetts and New Hampshire) and two had a slightly less
dramatic drop (Ohio and Nebraska).
Took Action Response vs.
Control Action - August Response - August Change % Whole
Group April 03 04 - April 03 04 in Rate Change List
Whole List 125502 5479 2474 4.4% 2.0% -2.4% -55% 0%
MA 3730 101 18 2.7% 0.5% -2.2% -82% -27%
OH 6919 254 149 3.7% 2.2% -1.5% -41% 14%
NE 815 30 14 3.7% 1.7% -2.0% -53% 2%
NH 982 49 15 5.0% 1.5% -3.5% -69% -15%
Looking at the overall caliber of E-Champions in TFAN states, it appears
that the names provided by the state coalitions were less likely to be "Active
(participated in an online advocacy campaign)," which may account for the
fact that return rates in TFAN states were not as high as we had hoped.
Figure 14 shows that, with the exception of Massachusetts, the percentage of
the TFK-provided E-Champions who took action in the past 12 months was
much higher than for the names provided by the state coalitions.
% of Coalition List % of TFK List Who
Who Took Action in Took Action in Past 12
State Past 12 Months Months
MA 36% 27%
NE 6% 27%
NH 13% 31%
OH 17% 34%
6. Increase the number of online activists in pilot project states (Goal: @ 10%)
o Result: In all of the pilot states, the E-Champion lists grew substantially with
the uploaded names from the TFAN coalition partners. As indicated in
Figure 15, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids saw a 97.33% increase
nationally in “subscribed” list members – E-Champions who joined the list
and requested to continue to be members of the list – and the TFAN states,
on average, saw a significantly higher growth rate in subscribed members.
9/1/2003 9/1/2004 % Growth
OH 13,656 26,268 192%
NH 2,273 3,614 159%
NE 1,995 6,151 308%
MA 7,251 11,621 160%
VA 6,265 10,863 173%
VT 1,028 1,754 171%
KY 2,991 6,168 206%
TX 16,758 29,718 177%
National 271,671 479,235 176%
THE MAKING OF A TFAN E-CHAMPION
THE STORY OF DIANE JONES, CLEVELAND, OH
In June of 2003, Diane Jones was inspired to take action on Smoke-Free NASCAR, a paid
advertising campaign of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. Since then, Diane has taken
action on other alerts from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids but has largely been
uninvolved with the Campaign and is listed in the E-Champion database as a “Prospect” –
an E-Champion that has not taken action on an action alert for a period of six months.
When Diane received an email alert from Figure 1:
Smoke-Free Ohio asking her to submit a Smoke-Free Ohio Print Advertisement: Diane Jones
story about her experience with second-
hand smoke, Diane was again moved to
action. About 23 years ago, Diane quit
smoking. A single mother and desperate
to find work that would accommodate
her family’s schedule, Diane worked in
restaurants and bars. According to Diane,
“Single parents get stuck in these kinds of
jobs. If you lose the job, it’s easy to find
another.” But, in Cleveland, OH, where
smoking is permitted in bars and
restaurants, Diane was exposed to
dangerous second-hand smoke for many
years. Today, years removed from the
restaurant industry and currently working
at a legal firm and pursuing a JD, Diane
suffers from Chronic Obstructive
Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Doctors
informed her that the condition was a
result of a combination of her smoking
and the second-hand smoke that she was
subjected to in the bars and restaurants in
which she worked.
About five years ago, Diane lost her best
friend due to complications from lung
cancer. Her friend had also worked in
bars in Cleveland but she had never
smoked. Diane’s friend learned that she
had received lung cancer as a result of
exposure to second-hand smoke.
Diane sent her story to Smoke-Free Ohio and was selected to record a radio advertisement
and appear in a print advertisement for Smoke -Free Ohio’s Clean Indoor Air campaign.
The radio advertisement is chilling:
My name is Diane Jones and I quit smoking 23 years ago. I quit on Mother’s Day in 1980. My
kids had been after me “Mom, we don’t want you to die.”
Sherry was my very best friend; we were like sisters. Five years ago, she died from complications due
to lung cancer and she never smoked. But she was a bartender. She worked in restaurants and she
went from being a really vibrant woman to being a stick with no hair that I could pick up in my
arms out of her bed. And whenever I have a crisis in my life, or a happy bit of news I want to tell
somebody, I want to call her and I can’t.
TFAN Ohio partner Shelly Kiser related that during the recording, “we were all in tears. It
was all we could do to not sniffle and ruin the taping.”
In a follow-up interview, Diane shared that she thought her story could make a difference.
Diane believed that her story “cuts to the heart of people because it could be your friend,
family, or you.” She believes that the story is particularly relevant in Ohio- “people realize
that everyone deserves clean indoor air and just because you’re on the lower end of the
economic scale doesn’t mean that you should be subjected to second-hand smoke.”
Today, Diane’s image and her story have reached thousands in Cleveland. Shelly Kiser
reported that while the radio ads were running, over 100 people took action per day on
Tobacco-Free Ohio’s website. Diane remarked that her friends have teased her claiming that
she “won’t be able to walk by a single bar in town!” One friend, a radio personality at
WTAM-Cleveland, called Diane and invited her to be interviewed on his Saturday morning
talk show. Diane plans to give the interview and continue to get her message out to others in
TFAN - MASSACHUSETTS
TFAN Massachusetts is a partnership between the Campaign for Tobacco-Free
Kids and Tobacco-Free Mass Coalition.
“Today, we can all breathe a little easier… Everyone has the right to breathe clean
air and be free of secondhand smoke, especially our kids.”- Governor Mitt Romney
-Office of the Governor, Romney Makes Smoking History in Bay State, June 18, 2004
MAJOR POLICY VICTORIES IN MASSACHUSETTS
Clean Indoor Air
On July 5, 2004, Massachusetts Governor
Mitt Romney signed the Smoke-Free Figure 2:
Workplace Bill into law, making all Smoke-Free Workplace Bill Signing in Boston.
workplaces that have one or more
employees smoke-free and banning
designated smoking areas and smoking
In the two months before the final passage
of the Smoke-Free Workplace Bill, the
Tobacco-Free Mass coalition sent three
action alerts to E-Champions asking them
to communicate with their state legislators.
State Legislators received 6,928 emails from
E-Champions about the Smoke-Free
In August 2004, Tobacco-Free Mass secured a 40% increase in state funding for tobacco
Beginning in April 2004, the Tobacco-Free Mass coalition sent three action alerts urging E-
Champions to contact members of the Massachusetts Legislature and demand funding to
stop the illegal sale of tobacco to minors. State Legislators received 827 emails from E-
Champions on this issue.
COMMUNICATING WITH E-CHAMPIONS IN MASSACHUSETTS
In Massachusetts, Tobacco-Free Mass has sent out email alerts to E-Champions on a variety
of local initiatives, statewide policies and local offline events, and to request personal stories
on how the Smoke-Free Workplace Law has affected E-Champions.
MOVING E-CHAMPIONS OFFLINE IN MASSACHUSETTS
Tobacco-Free Mass sponsored
community forums in Lowell,
Boston, Worcester and Milton, E-CHAMPION GROWTH IN MASSACHUSETTS
where E-Champions learned
more about tobacco control Initial Email Lists
Tobacco-Free Mass: 435
legislation in their state and the
public health implications of TFK E-Champions: 5,493
Combined Growth of Subscribed E-Champions: 63.89%
tobacco use. At each offline event,
E-Champions were invited to take Today, there are 9,277 E-Champions in
a workshop where they learned
how to write Letters to the Editor
and drafted and submitted letters to their local papers.
Mary Laux, an E-Champion in Lowell, commented, “I was really intimidated by the
Letter to the Editor activity but I think it was good to step outside of my comfort
zone to do it.”
E-Champions in Massachusetts were also invited to participate in the Smoke-Free
Workplace Bill Signing in Boston where over 200 supporters turned out, including
E-Champions who had participated in the Community Forums.
CAMPAIGN FOR TOBACCO-FREE KIDS GRANT
Figure 4: Direct mail piece on the ALLOCATION IN MASSACHUSETTS
Smoke-Free Workplace Bill
Tobacco-Free Mass applied its grant from TFK to the
Offline Forums in Lowell, Boston, Worcester and
Milton: Expenses for these events included
supplies and refreshments.
Direct Mail Piece: The direct mail piece to E-
Champions included a tear-off mailer to be sent
to their favorite restaurant or bar to let the
owners know that their patrons are excited to
visit after the facility becomes smoke-free on July
5th! See Figure 4 and Appendix 5.
Countdown to Independence: In anticipation of the signing of the Smoke-Free
Workplace bill, Tobacco-Free Mass held social events in Boston and Worcester.
Expenses included refreshments and invitations for off-line activists.
Bill-Signing Event: Tobacco Free Mass used funds from its grant to create a banner
for the bill-signing event and host a party afterwards.
WHAT SUPPORTERS OF TFAN MASSACHUSETTS ARE SAYING
In interviews with Massachusetts E-Champions, Figure 5:
Coalition Leaders, Key Stakeholders and Elected Mary Laux and husband Fred
Officials, we found that TFAN in Massachusetts has Mauriello of Billerica write Letters to
made inroads in bringing activists and leaders together the Editor to their local papers at a
to fight for common-sense tobacco control policies. community forum in Lowell.
Rep. Peter Koutoujian, Elected Official
Rep. Koutoujian is a Member of the Massachusetts State House
and serves as Chairman on the Health Care committee.
Koutoujian reported that TFAN made him
think about the fact that there is a lot of
support for tobacco control. When asked what
impact the action alerts from E-Champions had
on him, Koutoujian replied that although he
was supportive of the Smoke-Free Workplace
Bill, “It's good to get encouragement.”
Koutojian also believed that the groups making
up the tobacco control coalition in
Massachusetts “are the most professional organizations in the state.”
Allyson Doyle, Key Stakeholder
Before joining AHA, Allyson worked as the Clean Air Works Coordinator, a regional organization
designed to get neighboring cities and towns to become smoke-free together. She does direct lobbying on several
issues and chairs the Tobacco-Free Mass Coalition's membership committee.
According to Doyle, the grassroots focus of TFAN has been successful. “We started
out with a database of 300 and now have over 9,000 and we have done a good job
moving people offline.” She also stated that, “While it is hard to pinpoint what was
the straw that broke the camel's back, I think that TFAN was it with this last
campaign for Clean Indoor Air.” Getting E-Champions to the bill-signing event was
also really helpful, "The Lt. Governor looked very pleased with the turn-out of
TFAN met Mary at a forum event held in Lowell. She came with her husband and 3-year old son. Laux
lost her mother at 45 and her father at 62 to smoking-related diseases.
Laux's overall impression of the program was very positive. She commented that one
of the best features of TFAN was getting to meet TFAN partner Brad Dakake. Laux
enjoyed connecting with a “real person” and commented that Dakake’s enthusiasm
inspired her to become more involved.
TFAN - NEW HAMPSHIRE
TFAN New Hampshire is a partnership of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and
the Smoke-Free NH Alliance.
COMMUNICATING WITH E- FIGURE 6:
CHAMPIONS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE E-CHAMPION GROWTH IN NEW HAMPSHIRE
In New Hampshire, the Smoke-Free NH Initial Email Lists
Alliance sent out email alerts to E- Smoke-Free NH: 255
Champions about local initiatives, state- TFK E-Champions: 1,327
wide policies and local offline events, and Combined Growth of Subscribed E-Champions: 66.026%
to request personal stories on how Today, there are 2,396 E-Champions in New
second-hand smoke has affected E- Hampshire.
MOVING E-CHAMPIONS OFFLINE IN NEW HAMPSHIRE
The Smoke-Free NH Alliance held offline events in
Figure 7: Advertisement for an event in
Concord, Berlin, Exeter and Jaffrey where E-Champions
Concord, New Hampshire
were invited to question legislators about tobacco-control
initiatives and to learn more about tobacco-control in New
Hampshire. Using their mini-grant funds to pay for
advertising in local and regional newspapers proved to be
an effective way to recruit participants for their community
One of the most successful events was in Concord where
over 55 individuals showed up for the community forum.
The Smoke-Free NH Alliance identified active event
participants and invited them to become local captains in
charge of information dissemination, recruitment, phone
trees, and setting up meetings with decision makers in their
areas during the upcoming campaign season.
CAMPAIGN FOR TOBACCO-FREE KIDS GRANT
ALLOCATION IN NEW HAMPSHIRE
The Smoke-Free NH Alliance used their grant money to
conduct seven offline community forums around the state.
The funds were spent on advertising the events in local
newspapers (see Figure 7), postcard invitations, follow-up phone calls, refreshments and
WHAT SUPPORTERS OF TFAN NEW HAMPSHIRE ARE SAYING
In interviewing New Hampshire E-Champions, Coalition Leaders, Key Stakeholders, and
Elected Officials, it was found that TFAN in New Hampshire has made inroads in bringing
activists and leaders together in the fight for common-sense tobacco control policies.
Rep. Terie Norelli, Elected Official
State House Representative Terie Norelli is a Democrat from Portsmouth City in her 4th term in the state
legislature. She is the main sponsor of the tobacco tax bill and has been very active on health issues.
“It was clear that there was great organization and I was very aware that the tobacco
free community was getting word out to their membership encouraging them to
contact the legislature.”
Joanne St. Pierre, Key Stakeholder
Joanne St. Pierre is the Director of Advocacy and Government Figure 8:
Relations for the New Hampshire Cancer Society. St. Pierre YaYa and NH E-Champion
has been in tobacco prevention and control for 5 years. She has Vicky Hebert
worked at the community, state and regional levels. Currently,
she is on the policy committee for the Smoke Free NH
Alliance where she helps develop strategy and directly lobbys
St. Pierre believes that the TFAN project in
NH really grew in the months of April - June.
“The public forums have prepared the
coalition and grassroots activists to be
prepared for the next legislative session.” St.
Pierre also stated, “The TFAN network has
made it possible to bring a broader group of
activists together encouraging ACS members
to do more because of the community focus.”
Karen Rowell, E-Champion
Karen Rowell attended an offline event in New Hampshire and works for C-Care Health Services.
Rowell noted the offline events “were good as a refresher, bringing things to the
forefront of my mind. The session on second hand smoke and how to teach families
about second hand smoke was helpful.”
TFAN - NEBRASKA
TFAN Nebraska is a partnership of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
and SmokeLess Nebraska.
“Having Nebraska's largest cities discuss bans on smoking in restaurants, bars and
other workplaces could pave the way to a statewide ban, some activists say.”
Associated Press, Nebraska Cities Could Pave the Way to Statewide Smoking Ban, 8/9/04
MAJOR POLICY VICTORIES IN NEBRASKA
Clean Indoor Air
The Lincoln City Council passed Clean Indoor Air Legislation in 2004 – voters will decide
whether or not to repeal the ordinance by referendum on November 2, 2004.
In the lead up to the Clean Indoor Air Legislation, Clean Air Nebraska sent five action alerts
to E-Champions urging them to speak up and be heard. Members of the Lincoln City
Council received a total of 752 emails from E-Champions prior to the vote. As follow up,
two action alerts were sent encouraging E-Champions to continue to remain active
throughout the referendum process.
Secured $2.5 million in State Funding for Tobacco-Free Nebraska.
In the months before approval of the funding increase, three action alerts were sent by
SmokeLess Nebraska members, urging them to contact their elected representatives (two
alerts were targeted to committee members). Targets received a total of 243 emails from E-
Champions before the vote.
COMMUNICATING WITH E-CHAMPIONS IN NEBRASKA
SmokeLess Nebraska sent out email alerts FIGURE 9:
to E-Champions about local initiatives, E-CHAMPION GROWTH IN NEBRASKA
state-wide policies and local offline
events. Initial Email Lists
SmokeLess NE: 2,736
CAMPAIGN FOR TOBACCO-FREE KIDS TFK E-Champions: 1,473
GRANT ALLOCATION IN NEBRASKA Combined Growth of Subscribed E-Champions: 85.01%
Today, there are 4,951 E-Champions in Nebraska.
SmokeLess Nebraska did not submit a
request for the $10,000 grant from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.
WHAT SUPPORTERS OF TFAN NEBRASKA ARE SAYING
In interviews with Nebraska E-Champions, Coalition Leaders, Key Stakeholders, and
Elected Officials, it was found that TFAN in Nebraska made inroads in bringing activists
and leaders together in the fight for common sense tobacco control policy.
Terry Werner, Elected Official
Terry Werner is a Member at-Large of the Lincoln City Council and a Democrat in his 2nd term as a City
Councilman. He is also a self-described “big supporter” of TFAN.
When asked about email alerts that he had received on tobacco-control, Werner
stated that he “personally responded to anyone who wrote me a personal email. I
couldn't get to everybody, but I would say 35-40%.” The email alerts had a powerful
affect on Werner – “It re-emphasized to me what my vision was and what my goal
Dawn Vosteen, Key Stakeholder
Dawn Vosteen works for the American Cancer Society in Nebraska. She provides technical support on
advocacy issues and works on smoke-free campaigns in three communities including Lincoln, where she
worked on strategy for the Clean Indoor Air Lincoln Ordinance.
Vosteen noted that online advocacy “allows a quicker return because activists have
the ability to respond in a timely manner. It's more accessible and an easier action to
Brian Krannawitter, Key Stakeholder
Brian Krannawitter is currently the State Policy Manager for Health Education, Inc. and has 10 years
lobbying experience. Currently, Krannawitter is working on tobacco control in Nebraska and is involved in
strategy planning statewide and in Lincoln.
According to Krannawitter, the impact TFAN had on his work was, "first and
foremost, getting [the] message out to a broader audience." He continued: "By
getting involved in the TFAN network, our space has increased significantly."
Krannawitter notes that he is getting "quality advocates" who initially show interest
and are more likely to respond.
TFAN CHALLENGES IN NEBRASKA
While the state of Nebraska is currently in the midst of landmark Clean Indoor Air
campaigns in both Lincoln and Omaha, SmokeLess Nebraska will not be continuing as a
TFAN state in the second year of the pilot project. Both the Campaign for Tobacco-Free
Kids and SmokeLess Nebraska believe that pilot project was not as successful in Nebraska
because the expectations of the project were unclear. There were several examples of
miscommunication on expectations in Nebraska:
The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids expected each TFAN state to send out 6-12
email alerts over the course of a 1-year period. However, in follow-up interviews, the
SmokeLess Nebraska partners reported that they were not fully aware of this
TFK expected TFAN participants to submit action alerts for editing and approval;
this was an important step because the majority of the email list were TFK activists.
However, the SmokeLess Nebraska staff found this process hindered their online
organizing efforts. The approval process was often so daunting for the coalition staff
that they would send email alerts out only to the SmokeLess Nebraska lists and not
to the full E-Champion list.
SmokeLess Nebraska was also frustrated by what they believed to be fundraising
expectations set by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. TFK did encourage the
TFAN partners to fundraise from the E-Champions; this was not meant to be a
burden, but an opportunity.
SmokeLess Nebraska did not commit the same resources in terms of staff time to
the TFAN pilot project as other states did. The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
did not place any specific expectations on the amount of time that the TFAN project
would take for each state, believing that such commitments would be revealed in the
pilot stage. TFK should more clearly set expectations for time commitments to the
TFAN - OHIO
TFAN OH is a partnership between the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and Tobacco-
MAJOR P (TFO).
VICTORIES IN OHIO Figure 10:
Worker's for Smoke-Free air event in Dayton, Ohio
Clean Indoor Air
Passage of Clean Indoor Air ordinances in
Powell, Toledo and Columbus2.
In Toledo, E-Champions were sent two email
alerts, resulting in 876 messages sent to the
Toledo City Council.
In Columbus, E-Champions were sent an
email alert, resulting in 864 messages sent to
the Columbus City Council.
Defeat of preemption bill in the
Passage of a $.31 cigarette tax increase.
Protected the $350 million Tobacco Use Prevention and Control Foundation
endowment from being used to balance the budget on three occasions.
COMMUNICATING WITH E-
FIGURE 11: E-CHAMPION GROWTH IN OHIO
CHAMPIONS IN OHIO
Initial Email Lists
Tobacco-Free Ohio sent out email alerts
Tobacco-Free Ohio List: 3,753
to E-Champions on local initiatives,
TFK E-Champions: 8,281
statewide policies and local offline events,
Combined Growth of Subscribed E-Champions: 62.83%
and to request personal stories on how
Today, there are 19,152 E-Champions in Ohio
second-hand smoke has affected E-
MOVING E-CHAMPIONS OFFLINE IN OHIO
Tobacco-Free Ohio held several offline events to which E-Champions were invited with
varying degrees of success. In all of these cases, participants were drawn from a mix of
2The CIA Ordinance, passed by the Columbus City Council, will go to the ballot as a referendum on
November 2, 2004.
In March, Tobacco-Free Ohio teamed up with Smoke-Free Dayton and invited E-
Champions in the Dayton area to learn more about Clean Indoor Air legislation in
Dayton. Over 20 people attended the event in Dayton.
In April, Tobacco-Free Ohio held a press conference with the faith community,
which 40 people attended.
By far the most successful offline event was in Columbus, where E-Champions were
invited to hearings on the Columbus Clean Indoor Air legislation. Over 159 people
came to the hearing to provide testimony.
Additionally, several E-Champions who submitted secondhand smoke stories were invited
to record radio ads that are being aired across the state.
CAMPAIGN FOR TOBACCO-FREE KIDS GRANT
ALLOCATION IN OHIO Figure 12: One-year anniversary of the
Smoke-Free Dayton Campaign
Tobacco-Free Ohio devoted its entire grant from the
Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids to the Clean Indoor
Air Campaign in Dayton. In May of 2004, Tobacco-Free
Ohio held an “African American Women’s Tea” to
discuss Clean Indoor Air initiatives in Dayton. Expenses
included refreshments, materials and a facility fee. In
August of 2004, Tobacco-Free Ohio sent a direct mail
piece targeting communities of color in Dayton. The
balance of the grant was used to pay the monthly retainer
for the Dayton Coordinator.
WHAT SUPPORTERS OF TFAN OHIO ARE SAYING
In interviewing Ohio E-Champions, Coalition Leaders, Key Stakeholders and Elected
Officials, it was found that TFAN in Ohio made inroads in bringing activists and leaders
together in the fight for common-sense tobacco control policies.
Michael Ware, Key Stakeholder
Michael Ware is the Director of Legislative Affairs Ohio State Medical Association (OSMA) and is
interested in moving the OSMA membership to be involved in tobacco prevention. Ware signed on to be part
of the Clean Indoor Air working group with the coalition.
According to Ware, one of the best examples of the effectiveness of TFAN's
grassroots work took place during the MSA budget proceedings: "In a short period
of time, TFAN was able to rally 100-200 children to march downtown to the State
House, attracting a lot of media attention and ultimately proving to be successful at
securing funding." The grassroots focus has also helped Ware to plug AMA
physician members in to TFAN to get regular updates and give them an opportunity
to become involved. "TFAN is great because I don't always have to be the
Susan Jagers, Key Stakeholder
Susan Jagers is the Vice President of Government Relations, American Cancer Society, Ohio Division
Jagers believes that participating in the TFAN program has been an eye-opening
experience. According to Jagers, the American Cancer Society in Ohio has wanted a
grassroots movement in the past, but grassroots program resources were limited.
The exposure to the program, Jagers noted, "opened our eyes on how to groom
volunteers to take action.” Jagers continued, “I see all these wonderful things
happening with TFAN, and we're looking forward to being able to do the same thing
with our volunteers.” She added that “the information and training was really
helpful. The TFAN program helped increase participation on state issues and also
increase the number of people reached, both legislators and activists.”
I. Coalition Support
In the pilot project states the success of TFAN was directly linked to the support and
commitment of the partner coalitions. In states where the coalition committed staff to the
project to draft alerts, track the progress of alerts, follow-up on offline events and participate
in monthly check-in calls, the coalition was much more satisfied with the results of the
program and excited about moving forward. In Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Ohio,
the TFAN coalitions took the initiative to consider new strategies for engaging E-
Tobacco-Free Mass put together an online journal for activists and E-Champions to
register comments about the passage of the Smoke-Free Workplace. Over 100
comments from E-Champions, Key Stakeholders, and others involved with the
campaign were entered in the “Thank You” Journal.
In Ohio and New Hampshire, the TFAN coalitions sent out email alerts asking E-
Champions to submit stories about their personal history with second-hand smoke.
To date, over 100 stories have been collected in these states. Tobacco-Free Ohio has
taken the stories to the next level, enlisting the help of a couple E-Champions to
record radio spots sharing their stories. These ads are currently being aired around
The support of the coalitions has helped to improve the success of TFAN in the individual
states and has helped all of the states in the pilot project. Through the monthly newsletters
and check-in calls, each TFAN state has benefited from the creative vision of the other
states and has benefited from collective insight on the program.
The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids had also teamed up with Smoke-Free Texas to
launch the TFAN project in Texas. After meeting with TFK, the coalition signed on to
become the fifth TFAN state and went through the training. Unfortunately, the coalition
decided not to reapply for the SmokeLess State grant and two of the coalition’s staff
members, the Executive Director and the Grassroots Coordinator, left the coalition.
With only the Communications Director left to run the coalition, the Smoke-Free Texas
coalition decided not to continue on with the project.
B. New Hampshire
When the Smoke-Free NH Alliance’s SmokeLess State grant ended in May of 2004, the
coalition lost two of its three staff members. Building a job description around
maintaining the TFAN project, the state AHA, ACS, ALA affiliates and the NH
Citizen’s Alliance made it their priority to pull together funding. Today, all of the partner
organizations play a role in TFAN in New Hampshire and one full-time staff member
administers the project.
II. Action Alert Review Process
In order to ensure that all action alerts issued by TFAN states were consistent in tone and
volume, email messages to E-Champions were subject to approval by the Campaign for
Tobacco-Free Kids. Interviews with TFAN participants revealed that the turn-around time
between submitting alerts to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids for approval and issuing
the alerts was often a source of frustration. Participants felt that the review process hindered
their ability to issue alerts in a timely manner.
While many of the TFAN participants believed that the review process helped them to think
more strategically about action alerts, all would like to see the review process streamlined.
III. Online Fundraising
Over the course of the TFAN pilot projects, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
conducted online fundraising with E-Champions in the TFAN states. Limited fundraising
appeals were sent to E-Champions in the TFAN states, excluding the activist lists that the
TFAN coalitions had uploaded into Grassroots Multiplier. Figure 16 provides a summary of
the results of the most recent fundraising appeal that was sent in September of 2004. This
fundraising appeal focused on the work that the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
conducted on FDA-regulatory legislation in the U.S. Congress (see Appendix # for the
message Gift Average Return 1000
#2 # Gifts Amount Gift Rate Emails
Mass 2,153 3 $60 $20 0.14% $28
Ohio 4,603 1 $10 $10 0.02% $2
Nebraska 749 1 $50 $50 0.13% $67
New Hampshire 646 1 $15 $15 0.15% $23
Kentucky 1,784 0 $0 $0 0.00% $0
Virginia 2,671 1 $50 $50 0.04% $19
Vermont 506 0 $0 $0 0.00% $0
Texas 6,835 2 $20 $10 0.03% $3
Whole List 113,893 50 $1,590 $32 0.04% $14
Compared to the benchmark states (Kentucky, Texas, Vermont and Virginia), the TFAN
states tended to outperform the benchmark states in fundraising in both the size of the
average gift and the number of gifts made on this alert. Additionally, compared to national
online fundraising, the TFAN states tended to yield a considerably higher average gift size.
It is worth noting that because the TFAN states were often excluded from fundraising
appeals, data on online fundraising should be considered inconclusive. In addition, the
extremely small sample does not allow firm conclusions to be drawn.
As the first year of the TFAN project concludes in the pilot states and the second year is
ahead, there are several questions to address. The following areas are suggestions for
renewing contracts and adding new states:
During the TFAN pilot program, landmark legislation at the Federal level highlighted a need
for Federal action in the states. Before leaving for the August recess, the Senate passed an
amendment to the Foreign Sales Corporation Bill, granting the Food and Drug
Administration regulatory power over tobacco. In response to a potential victory at the
national level, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids requested E-Champions to send email
messages to Congress, write Letters to the Editor, and make calls to targeted Members of
Congress. While the national coalitions worked on strategy, state coalitions were largely not
involved in the strategic planning process.
One area for growth is to consider asking the TFAN states to prepare for national tobacco-
control activity since the TFAN states are laying the foundation for E-Champions to
become more involved in tobacco control legislation. By developing a Federal Action team
as part of the TFAN project, TFK could have a whole cadre of E-Champions and Key
Stakeholders ready for in-district meetings with Members of Congress, prepared to sign
Letters to the Editor, or ready call Members of Congress or their key staff.
From their vantage point on the ground, the TFAN coalitions have access to local television
and radio, as well as local contacts, such as donors and campaign supporters for Members of
Congress. The TFAN states may be able to devise local strategies to complement the
national efforts of TFK. The partnership would also help to ensure that the wheels are
already in motion when local coalitions are needed to act on Federal Initiatives.
Communication Between the TFAN States
The TFAN states have each added their own creativity to the project, which has been shared
through the Monthly Update newsletter and on state calls. For example, Ohio’s idea for an
action alert asking E-Champions to share “Secondhand Smoke Stories” has inspired New
Hampshire to do the same and both have been successful. While the Monthly Updates
inspire each of the states to consider what they can do in their own states, a national call
allowing each of the states to showcase an original idea for engaging E-Champions might
also be effective. The call would allow TFAN participants to answer questions about
implementing their strategies in other states as well as to share suggestions for improving
Appendix 1: TFAN Alerts – A Look at The Results of All Alerts Sent to E-Champions
Appendix 2: Performance of TFAN Partner Uploaded Lists
Appendix 3: TFAN Participants
Appendix 4: FDA Fundraising Alert
Appendix 5: MA Direct Mail Piece
Appendix 6: TFAN Evaluation Interviews – Responses From All Interviews
Appendix 7: TFAN Monthly Updates