Nonprofit Chronicles

Journalism about foundations, nonprofits and their impact

The government last week released encouraging news about youth vaping. It is down by 60 percent over the last two years. It’s too early to be certain — the results of this latest government survey are not strictly comparable with data from past years — but it appears as if the youth vaping epidemic is …

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Here we are, with summer coming to a close, and I am more than a little surprised to find that I have devoted most of my working time during 2021 to a single topic–electronic cigarettes. I’ve never been a smoker or a vaper, and paid no attention to e-cigarettes until late last year, when I …

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“In almost every respect imaginable, Prohibition was a failure,” writes Daniel Okrent in Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition. The war on drugs has, if anything, been worse. Why, then, do people want to ban e-cigarettes? Or flavored e-cigarettes? Have anti-tobacco warriors like the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and the Truth Initiative and their political allies forgotten history? My …

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It is not often that well-respected nonprofit organizations take the side of the powerful against the weak. Yet that, in my view, is where the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and the Truth Campaign find themselves these days in the debate over e-cigarettes. That’s why I’ve been spending time lately reporting and writing about e-cigarettes, and …

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My story about Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids and their campaign against electronic cigarettes generated more reaction that anything I’ve written in years, with the possible exception of my reporting on the workplace abuses at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. The story appears in the current issue of the Chronicle of Philanthropy, …

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The philanthropy of the very rich is an exercise of power, says Stanford professor Rob Reich. As such, billionaire philanthropy deserves scrutiny and not automatic gratitude. With that in mind, I began a deep dive three months ago into a campaign against electronic cigarettes funded largely by a $160-million, three-year grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies. Much …

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