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Roselyn P Epps
I’m a pediatrician. I have been in private practice, I’ve taught and am still a professor of pediatrics and child health at Howard University. But I consider myself primarily a public health physician because most of my career has been in that field, ranging from work as a clinic physician in a child health clinic in the far Southeast Washington area to the Acting Commissioner of Health for the District of Columbia.
I only mention that because I am going to talk from the perspective of the consumer, the patient, the individuals, those who receive the services, as opposed to those who do research and/or deliver services. I’m going to speak briefly about channels for receiving information. What we really need is a marketing strategy for smoking cessation programmes. We have many piecemeal approaches to reaching individuals, but we don’t really have a strategy. And the tobacco companies fight back: they compete with each other; they do have a strategy. I would like you to think for a moment about what the consumer sees in the community, what the person at home sees.
First of all, they look at TV and see sporting events such as car races with blatant cigarette advertisements. On late night talk shows, guests frequently smoke. When they go to the movies, (and even the movies on TV), cigarettes are there. They’re on the tables. It may not be appropriate for the character, yet cigarettes are there. In the supermarkets, they’re up front at the checkout counter. At the gas station, cigarettes are there as well as billboards and posters.
And when you look at minority communities, cigarettes are even more apparent. The magazines are very colourful, but the back pages of practically every magazine feature cigarette ads. Also, minority newspapers promote cigarettes. I opened one …
Moderator: John M Pinney
Panellists: Roselyn P Epps, Jack Hollis, Marc Manley, Deborah J Ossip-Klein, Nancy A Rigotti
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