History & Goals

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Although active as early as 1974, the American Nonsmokers' Rights (ANR) Foundation, originally the California Nonsmokers' Rights Foundation, was formally certified as a 501(c)3 nonprofit in 1984. The ANR Foundation, the sister organization to Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights (ANR), is a non-lobbying, educational nonprofit organization that creates comprehensive programs for school-age youth on issues of smoking prevention and their right to breathe smokefree air. It provides educational resources for schools, health departments, medical organizations, and others interested in the issues surrounding smoking and secondhand smoke. Our goals are to raise a smokefree generation that rejects tobacco use and tobacco industry manipulation and interference tactics, and to educate the community about the health effects of secondhand smoke and the benefits of smokefree environments.

The ANR Foundation uncovered and released the previously suppressed documentary Death in the West which juxtaposes advertising of Marlboro cigarettes as sexy and alluring with real life cowboys dying of smoking-related diseases. Called "the most powerful anti-smoking film ever made," Death in the West was censored by Philip Morris after one airing in Britain in 1976. Death in the West has since become the core of a highly successful smoking prevention curriculum for children and has been aired on television stations across the country.

The ANR Foundation is the only national repository of local tobacco-related ordinances and regulations in the United States. Our U.S. Tobacco Control Laws Database© serves as a key resource for researchers and media outlets which use our data to document trends and research the effectiveness of tobacco-related legislation. Each quarter, ANR Foundation staff creates lists, tables and charts, and maps to illustrate the trend toward smokefree air. Over 350 peer-reviewed publications, five NCI monographs and three Surgeon's General Reports have used the ANR Foundation data as a primary data source.

The ANR Foundation accomplishes its goals by:

  1. Collecting and disseminating accurate scientific information about the health effects of secondhand smoke exposure;
  2. Empowering the public to protect itself from secondhand smoke exposure by providing information on methods and strategies for achieving smokefree venues, including tracking and analysis of existing legislation regulating tobacco smoke, preparing model smokefree policies, and collecting and disseminating accurate data on the economic impact of smokefree policies;
  3. Promoting smokefree indoor air as the cultural norm;
  4. Designing and implementing educational programs for young people to encourage them to remain nonsmokers and to help them learn methods for advocating for smokefree environments;
  5. Supporting measures that limit the influence of the tobacco industry on public health policy, including tracking the industry, its allies and front groups; and
  6. Supporting litigation where appropriate.

Help us raise a smokefree generation by supporting the ANR Foundation with your generous donation, or by purchasing our materials or training services.