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About

Commune is a movement of artists, designers, musicians, and people that take a stand against tobacco corporations and their presence in the scene.


We have rejected big corporations for a long time, like Big Music that hinders creative freedom and Big Fashion that runs sweatshops. Our stand against Big Tobacco is even more important, since the industry contributes to things like world hunger, deforestation, and neo conservative policies.

Even worse, the tobacco industry’s pervasive marketing in the art and music scene has manufactured an image that people like us smoke. So now young people that look up to us believe that smoking is more important than creativity, music and self-expression to fit in. We’re out to change this distorted image of the scene.

Commune supports the local and thriving talent in San Diego and San Francisco and every month teams up with a local band, DJ, designer and artist at Commune Wednesdays. By celebrating local and educating people about the things Big Tobacco does or contributes to that they may not otherwise support, we hope to shift the creative scene image from one that smokes to one that focuses more on creativity, music and art.


Thanks to all of the bands, DJs, artists, designers, and boutiques that have made Commune Wednesdays a success. If you would like to be part of Commune Wednesdays and take a stand against Big Tobacco, contact Jenny at info@jointhecommune.com

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The Facts

We’re not going to lecture anyone about black lungs, smoker’s coughs, or diseases that you can’t pronounce and we can’t spell. Everyone has already heard all that.

We’re not going to berate smokers, and we are not at all against smokers. We’re the Commune, we love you no matter what. We just want to present the facts, cause the tobacco industry harms more than just the person who lights up at a bar. Big tobacco’s practices harm the environment, contribute to corruption and, worst of all, target our scene. You may not realize it, but big tobacco spends a healthy chunk of change attempting to create a scene where people have to smoke to fit in. No joke.

Our goal is simple; we believe the money we spend on tobacco supports horrible things that we otherwise would never support. And that the industry’s presence in our scene makes young people think they need to start smoking to fit in. For these reasons, we believe the scene would be better smokefree and ask you to help us. Join the Commune and support a smokefree scene.

  • On January 27, 2003 Philip Morris (PM) officially completed the change of its corporate name to “Altria Group.”

  • Reynolds American is the parent company of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. It is also the parent company of Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company, the makers of Natural American Spirits.

  • Animal testing has been used by the tobacco industry to find ways to make their products more addictive (effective), not safer for humans. In one study, beagles were forced to breathe in toxic chemicals via tracheostomies and 28 of them died from lung cancer.

  • R.J. REYNOLDS (MAKER OF CAMELS) DOES RESEARCH WITH MICE AND RABBITS TO UNDERSTAND THE EFFECTS OF SMOKING. RESEARCH CONCLUDED SMOKING CAUSES CANCER AND EMPHYSEMA. INSTEAD OF FURTHER RESEARCH, THE COMPANY DESTROYED THE RESEARCH, FIRED THE SCIENTISTS, AND TORE DOWN THE BUILDING.

  • The tobacco industry uses its revenues to test tobacco products on dogs, rabbits, mice and monkeys. In one study in 2008, monkeys were killed to examine the effect of nicotine on their brains. When smoking stops, the animal testing stops too.

  • The tobacco industry has conducted experiments on animals for decades. In some experiments, beagles we strapped down and fitted with facemasks, which forced them to inhale smoke from lit cigarettes. This research led to discoveries on how to make cigarettes more addictive to humans.

  • 4.5 Trillion cigarette butts are thrown on the ground or in bodies of water each year. There are 7 billion people in the world. That means that every person in the world would need to pick up 642 cigarette butts a year in order to rid the earth of cigarette litter.

  • Big Tobacco labels their cigarettes with things like light, ultra-light and low-tar even though they can be as deadly and addictive as regular cigarettes.

  • As long ago as 1969, a tobacco company executive agreed to “avoid advertising directed to young people.” Yet 10 years later, they supplied their products to be featured in The Muppet Movie and in 1994 said “Cherry Skoal is for somebody who likes the taste of candy, if you know what I’m saying.”

  • Smoking causes $96.7 billion worth of health care expenditures each year in the U.S. A big chunk of that is paid with that taxes that you pay.

  • Cigarette smoke contains about 7,000 different chemicals with at least 60 cancer-causing substances including benzene, vinyl chloride, arsenic, nickel, chromium, and cadmium. It also includes chemicals that are found in human sweat, pee, rocket fuel, mothballs, pesticides, formaldehyde, and household cleaners.

  • Up to 5.7lbs of wood is used to make one pack of cigarettes. Through this process, the tobacco industry causes 494,000 acres of deforestation EVERY YEAR. This doesn’t even include the paper or packaging

  • A tobacco company once gave $125,000 worth of food to a charity, according to an estimate by The Wall Street Journal. Then, they spent well over $21 million telling people about it.

  • More than 60% of tobacco-growing land is located in low-income countries where tobacco is cultivated as a cash crop for export.10-20 million people could be fed if all tobacco crops were replaced with food crops.

  • In 1994, the CEOs from 7 major tobacco companies testified before Congress, under oath, that they believe nicotine is NOT addictive.

  • In 1996, Charles Harper, R. J. Reynolds Chairman said, “If children don’t like to be in a smoky room, they’ll leave.” When asked by a shareholder about infants, who can’t leave a smoky room, Harper stated, “At some point they begin to crawl.”

  • In 1997, a Big Tobacco executive once said, under oath, that he believed Gummy Bears were addictive like cigarettes.

  • In 1996, a major tobacco company planned to boost cigarette sales by targeting homeless people. They called their plan “Project SCUM: Sub Culture Urban Marketing.”

  • When asked why none of the company’s executives smoked, an RJ Reynolds representative responded. “We don’t smoke this shit. We only sell it. We reserve the right to smoke for the young, the poor, the black, and the stupid.”

See All

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Limited Edition Artist Posters

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Quit Groups

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It’s no secret that Commune is against Big Tobacco, and although we aren’t anti-smoker we’re certainly not opposed to the idea of helping people quit smoking if they want to.

Quitting smoking means less money in Big Tobacco’s corrupt pockets and it’s one of the healthiest things you can do. But we also understand that quitting is not easy, typically it’s not that fun either, so Commune decided to create a fun, safe and unconventional way for people, who are interested, to quit.

15 Locals meet up for 10 weeks in hopes to decrease their smoking rates and eventually quit. Smoking rates are measured using a smokerlyzer, a device that measures the carbon monoxide levels in their lungs. Each week when a participant decreases their smoking rate they will receive a cash incentive. At certain intervals, smoking is also measured using a saliva test strip. A local smoking counselor is also available at some weekly meetings to answer any questions the participants have.

Current Group Join a future group

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Featured Local

FEATURED LOCAL: Urban Seed

 

Back in July we had the opportunity to work with the talented Virginia Dolen, creator of Urban Seed. We caught up with her to see what she had going on and asked her to give us the breakdown of everything Urban Seed.

What’s you fave thing about Commune SF?

Promoting anti-tobacco to our generation is important and Commune does that in smart ways. They really get involved within the local community and help promote artists and crafty folk. Last year I participated in a Commune focus group and it was surprisingly a lot fun. You get to review their latest designs, logo ideation and messaging and really contribute to how they grow their brand. Taking a stand against tobacco corporations will be no small feat, but it’s important someone is out there promoting that message. And, Commune events are the shiz. I look forward to them each month now that they have started coming to SF!

Why are you tobacco free?

I’m tobacco free by personal choice. I understand that tobacco is a serious addiction for many so it’s never been something I have been drawn to. I appreciate healthy lungs, white teeth (or semi-white) and smoke-free air. Plus, if I ever want to start working out, I need to be able to breath.

Where do you draw inspiration from for your terrariums?

I’m obsessed with blogs. Every time I see a post on terrariums I get so excited and definitely look for inspiration. People can be so creative with vintage glass, natural stones, and plants of all kinds. I’m also constantly finding interesting plant formations on the streets of SF. There are so many amazing gardens that you have to stop and look at each and every one (and just hope you will be able to replicate something that cool!).

Tell us about the name Urban Seed!

I created the name based off the thought that I’m creating miniature urban gardens — plants that come to life and thrive in their own ecosystems. Taking a seed to the next level! Also, when I think of an “urban seed” I think about how I first moved to SF over three years ago and was feeling like a transplant entering the urban society. A seed that was growing (and hopefully going to flourish) into this new, updated lifestyle (goodbye suburbs!). I guess the name has multiple meanings, but however you look at it, for me it just inspires me to make cool plants!

 

For more on Urban Seed check out urbanseedsf.com.

FEATURED LOCAL: Andrew McGranahan

 

Meet Andrew McGranahan. He’s a graphic designer and collage artist residing in Modesto, CA. Space, fashion and nature all meld together in the peaceful, yet inquisitive approach that he takes.

Andrew likes to keep his work simple and minimal. Although well versed in digital media, Andrew prefers analog because of the surreal sentiment it captures. He prefers working with cut out images from magazines to create collages that are part still life and part otherworldly. His style lent itself well to our Art Against Animal Cruelty contest and Andrew was one of our top 3 artists.

“My favorite thing about Commune is their approach to their stand against Big Tobacco. They present interesting, intriguing and thought provoking facts in a much more appealing way,” said McGranahan about his experience working with Commune.

“Working with Commune was a really interesting experience. Me not only being able to present my art to a wide audience, but it’s also being able to send out a message about something that a lot of people probably really aren’t that knowledgeable about…and really should be. It’s really cool to be able to kind of do a little bit of both.”

Check out more from Andrew at ajmcg.com.

FEATURED LOCAL: Jack Carr

 

“Commune is doing a great thing for the local creative scene. By bringing artists, photographers, graphic designers and musicians together in one place they are promoting a healthy creative community. An event where people can exchange ideas and be exposed to new forms of art and music. This is a group that is truly for free expression and community.” – Jack Carr

Our Featured local, Jack Carr, is pretty much a badass. He was raised in Santa Barbara but currently lives in San Francisco. Carr is the proud owner of a B.A. from San Francisco State in Sculpture & Conceptual Information Arts. He is an artist, a musician and an all around awesome guy.

Jack is known for a couple of his artistic processes. His “Relic” works combine dark themes and personal fixations as exhibited through hand worked wood and metal that has the distinct feel of an ancient artifact on the finished piece. In contrast, his “Pulpo” series focuses on pop culture icons fused with octopus tentacles. The overall look is a statement on both power and familiar perception.

When he’s not busy getting his hands dirty with his artwork, he finds time to busy his hands in other ways. Jack Carr is also the drummer for the Bay Area’s own, Down and Outlaws.

Hey Jack, we like like you.

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Past Event Photos

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