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Campaign Overview

Each year 45,000 African Americans die from tobacco-induced diseases.  “The only way for the tobacco industry cartel to continue to rake in their billions in profits is to recruit and addict new replacement smokers.  Those replacement smokers are our children, said AATCLC Co-Chair Carol McGruder; we must disrupt their pipeline of death and disease that runs through our communities.” The focus of the AATCLC is to inform and influence the direction of commercial tobacco control as it affects the lives of African American and African immigrant communities. The AATCLC works at the intersection of social injustice, health equity, and public health policy. 

Joining forces with The Poet Life, an organization of professional poets, keynote speakers, event coordinators, and facilitators working to create unique and innovative experiences, the AATCLC is launching this campaign that will use poetry and spoken word to touch hearts and minds as they inform and educate communities across the country.

The “You Don’t Want That Smoke” anti-tobacco poetry campaign will be an interactive experience featuring an online poetry contest and blog series.  Starting January 19, 2023, poets from across the country can compete for a chance to win cash prizes and more by visiting the AATCLC website and registering their anti-tobacco-inspired poetry performance videos. 

Poets will also have an opportunity to showcase their written word skills during the “You Don’t Want That Smoke” blog series. The AATCLC and The Poet life believe the world is rediscovering the power of poetry, and together they will engage, educate, and connect communities across the country until the day that no more African Americans lose their lives to tobacco-induced diseases.

Cash prizes will be awarded to campaign winners:


  • First Place: $750

  • Second Place: $500

  • Third Place: $250

Click here for campaign rules

Submit your poetry

Click on the button below to submit your poetry and compete for a chance to win cash prizes and more!

The Poetry Blog

Submit your anti-tobacco poems to be published on the blog

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Registration Form

Upload Headshot
Upload Poetry Video
Upload Written Poetry

Thanks for submitting!

Campaign Rules

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  1. Any entry may be used to educate our communities and publicize the social injustice of tobacco. We will not use your image or work for profit. Poets still own their works and can use them in any way they see fit. 

  2. Winners will be expected to participate in media interviews or publicity generated from the event.

  3. Contestants must be 18 years of age.

  4. Please refrain from using profanity in your performance but otherwise have at it!

  5. Each piece must be of the poet's own creation and must be related to tobacco.  You are encouraged to visit for more resources and facts about tobacco use to include in your piece.

  6. Poets must be respectful of the other participants in the contest.

  7. Only one poetry piece per artist can be performed for the contest.


Scoring Rubric

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