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As a field of endeavour, as a never-ending source of intense fascination, the tobacco issue has just about everything: vast sums of money, truckloads of drugs, mass addiction, disease, untold dead, corporate malfeasance, pandemic corruption, bribery, organised crime, and high propaganda. It involves government, law, economics, big business, culture, science, medicine, ethics, the powerful new science of mass suasion, and the increasingly bald-faced purchasing of everything from governments to the media to special interest groups to even health organisations and science journal articles. Like tobacco smoke itself, its influence slithers into every corner of the globe, lacing itself into the bones and blood and sinews of every aspect of society. From the bidis in rural Indian villages—and San Diego junior high schools—to the fat cats' expensive cigars in the board rooms, halls of government, and yuppie bars, tobacco as fact and issue is everywhere. The problem is complex and ever-shifting, intractable and multi-levelled. Those with a classical, if vivid, imagination may see it as the Laocoon, the Hydra and the Gordian knot all in one, its solution as remote as the proverbial conundrum wrapped in a enigma lost in a quandary. In all these ways and more, tobacco remains a fascinating and engaging challenge. And yet, for all that, the only thing it really doesn't have is sex. Anyone will tell you, tobacco's just not a sexysubject.—GB
“John Bahnzahf [sic] [of United States Action on Smoking and Health], for example, is alleged to be involved in the porno industry. Can't we use this somehow?”
Appendix by a Philip Morris executive dated 29 March 1985 to “The perspective of PM International on smoking and health issues: text of the discussion document used at the meeting of top management” (Bates 2023268329/8337).
www.pmdocs.com/getallimg.asp?DOCID=2023268329/8337 (Accessed 5 September 1999).
Wow. What an allegation about a powerful enemy. The industry must have been privy to the same pipeline as United States Congressman Thomas Bliley (Republican—Virginia, who still represents Philip Morris' district). The next year in a 1986 hearing on a proposed bill to restrict cigarette advertising, Congressman Bliley asked Mr B: “Mr. Banzhaf, are you or were you a director of the Foundation for Unrestricted Carnal Knowledge?”
“No sir. I am not now nor have I ever been the director of the Foundation for Unrestricted Carnal Knowledge, which is sometimes known by its acronym.”
Mr Bliley was informed about traditional collegiate writing pranks at Banzhaf's school, yet never appeared to get the joke, and certainly didn't pronounce the acronym.
If there is any magic sword that may slice the tobacco dilemma's Gordian knot, it would have to be a nicotine vaccine—something to make the use of tobacco truly a choice. Then, presumably, people would no more thrust burning tobacco leaves in their mouths than burning lettuce.
“If the promise of the basic research on this vaccine extends to effectiveness in humans, it may not only help individuals trying to quit but may also prevent nicotine addiction in at-risk individuals.”
Dr Alan I Leshner, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA. Source: Nabi-NicVAX(TM) Data Presented At The Society For Research On Nicotine And Tobacco Meeting. PR Newswire 1999 Apr 19.
Nicely put: insights from the tobacco control community and others
“Well, this is church stuff.”
Illinois tobacco control activist Father Michael Pfleger, when asked why he doesn't do his “church stuff” instead. Source: Crusader sees tide turning, but his passion doesn't ebb. “Chicago Tribune” 1999 May 27.
“We forget that the tobacco lawsuits were not only about the tobacco industry misleading youths, but adults as well. . . . The industry has been successful in focusing just on the youth issue, and saying anything we do with adults should be off the table.”
Eric Lindblom, manager for policy research at the Coalition of Tobacco-Free Kids, on bar promotions. Source: Tobacco's imprimatur is less bold, but still on cultural events. “New York Times” 1999 Jun 21.
“In Canada, tobacco companies have a net change in market share of one per cent per year, (which) is $20 million of revenue but about $10 million dollars of profit. Why spend $150 million per year in marketing to fight over $10 million in profit when the net change is one per cent. It makes no economic sense. They'd be much better off financially to simply stop advertising (and) increase their profits by $150 million.”
Rob Cunningham, author of the 1996 book, “Smoke and mirrors: the Canadian tobacco war”. Source: Facing off on smoking. “Ottawa (Ontario) Citizen” 1999 May 14.
“If we accept that reasoning [keeping retail cigarettes out of sight only makes them more enticing to kids], that would mean not only should we decriminalize things like heroin and cocaine, we should make them available in street vending machines in order to discourage kids from using them. . . . You undermine the message that parents and teachers give—that cigarettes are dangerous—when a kid goes to a store and there they are, right next to the chewing gum and the mints.”
David Sweanor, Non-Smokers' Rights Association, Canada. Source: Critics say ‘out of sight, out of mind’ tobacco proposal won't work. “National Post (Canada)” 1999 May 12.
“When the history of tobacco in the US in the latter part of the 20th century is written, there is going to be before the Minnesota case and after the Minnesota case.”
Dr Stanton Glantz, a medical professor at the University of California, San Francisco, and leading anti-smoking advocate. Source: Minnesota's tobacco trial, one year later. “Minneapolis (Minnesota) Star Tribune” 1999 May 8.
“On the one hand, the company repeatedly urges that plaintiff, a lung cancer victim, is barred from suit because the risks of smoking have long been a matter of common knowledge. . . . On the other hand, the company asserts that it has ‘never agreed’ with the surgeon general's conclusion that smoking has been proven to cause cancer.' Having asserted that causation has not been established, Philip Morris cannot argue persuasively that members of the general public know better, and, by reason of their superior knowledge, are deprived of legal recourse.”
San Francisco Superior Court judge Munter. Source: Scathing opinion in smoking case sets precedent. “The (San Francisco) Recorder” 1999 Apr 7.
“We got the idea from branding, like cattle branding. . . . Why are cattle branded? For ownership and slaughter. That's what happens when you smoke, too. You are branded.”
Donna Phillips of the Stanislaus County (California) Health Services Tobacco Education Program, on the “Quilt Project.” Quoted in “Students”, adults donate teeshirts in campaign against smoking. “Modesto (California) Bee” 1999 May 20.
“When I pull out a cigarette pack, it says something about me and my self-image, but what these say is that I'm stupid and a low-life.”
Former Toronto advertising executive Marty Rothstein, on the more graphic warning labels Canada is considering. Source: Warning: these cigarette labels could really gross you out. “Wall Street Journal” 1999 Jun 7.
“It is likely that tobacco marketing will become a continual search for loopholes in the law that can be exploited before the next wave of legislation clamps down.”
Ray Perry, director of marketing of the United Kingdom's Chartered Institute of Marketing. Source: Tobacco ad ban could hit other sectors-advertisers. “Reuters” 1999 Jun 17.
“Businesses have really been our silent partner.”
Dr Gregory Connolly, director of the Tobacco Control Project. Source: The exiled smoker—first at the desk, then to smoking rooms, then outside, now away from entrances. “Boston (Massachusetts) Globe” 1999 Jun 12.
“Ask about our frequent survivor program!”
One of the top 12 creative ways to advertise cigarettes. Source: The top 12 creative ways to advertise cigarettes. “Top 5 List” 1999 Jun 21
www.topfive.com (Accessed 5 September 1999).
In the United States, the attorneys' general master settlement agreement—which throws pots of tobacco industry money onto the floors of state houses, and lets the politicians battle for it—continues to provide a dizzying spectacle.
“Senator (Wayne) Allard (Republican—Colorado) would be opposed to federal action against the tobacco industry. . . . The states have already entered into settlements. Any federal litigation could endanger those settlements.”
Allard press secretary Sean Conway, reacting to a study commissioned by Philip Morris, which found that a federal lawsuit may raise cigarette prices so high that consumption would be cut—thus diminishing states' revenues from the settlement. Source: Study: tobacco funds could go up in smoke. “Denver (Colorado) Post” 1999 Jun 6.
“It is entirely possible the companies that are paying into this settlement would get some of it back. . . . I think it's very appropriate.”
Representative Martin Nesbitt, an Asheville Democrat, who successfully proposed opening North Carolina's settlement foundation money to industry. Source: Tobacco companies could recover some money. “Raleigh (North Carolina) News and Observer” 1999 Jun 25.
“I figure that smoking causes pollution and so do sewers.”
Metro Councilman Mike Tassin wants a slice of Louisiana's tobacco settlement to help pay for sewer repairs in his East Baton Rouge Parish. Source: Tobacco funds sought for EBR sewer repairs. “Baton Rouge (Louisiana) Advocate” 1999 Apr 13.
“[I]t breaks my heart a little bit.”
Mississippi Attorney General Mike Moore, on seeing states' tobacco settlement money not being used for the purposes that led to the lawsuits. Source: GOP snuffs out White House hopes for tobacco settlement money. “The Washington Post” 1999 May 14.
“[The master settlement agreement releases the tobacco companies from any claims] directly or indirectly based on, arising out of or in any way related . . . . to the use, sale, distribution, manufacture [of cigarettes].”
Steve Duchesne, a spokesman for the major cigarette makers. Source: Cigarette makers may face fire suit: Philadelphia may seek costs of fighting blazes. “Richmond (Virginia) Times-Dispatch” 1999 Apr 25
Philip Morris continues to try to inject itself into anti-youth smoking programmes—from its own ads playing up its position that smoking is a choice—which all kids have to make—to sponsoring programs for the 4-H and even the state of West Virginia. It may become involved in the US$300 million campaign set up by the master settlement agreement.
“Philip Morris believes the settlement provides the states an unprecedented opportunity to design and implement programs that can reduce youth smoking. We hope that the states will devote a portion of their settlement funds to pay for a comprehensive state program to reduce use of, and access to, tobacco products by minors.”
Quoted in Philip Morris USA statement on spending settlement funds to support youth smoking prevention programs. “Business Wire” 1999 Apr 28
“This study shows that the Philip Morris campaign is unlikely to have much effect on deterring youth from smoking. . . . On the other hand, it may help Philip Morris far more—by making the company look responsible and reformed, and by staving off the legislative and regulatory changes that are needed.”
Bill Novelli, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. Source: Study finds Philip Morris' anti-smoking ads not effective. US Newswire 1999 Apr 7.
“[I]t is noteworthy that as early as eighth grade [13–14 years olds], the majority of youngsters who smoke—some 90 percent—can name a usual brand. And among those who have already established a half-pack-a-day-habit in eighth grade, 98 percent name a usual brand. This gives the tobacco companies an enormous incentive to try to interest underage children in smoking their brand, because, if they wait until they have reached adulthood, the die is already cast. And I don't know how you can make smoking a particular brand look attractive to children without making smoking itself look attractive to them.”
Principal investigator of the Monitoring the Future Study, Lloyd D Johnston. Source: Cigarette brands smoked by American teens: one brand predominates; three account for nearly all teen smoking. Press release, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan 1999 Apr 14.
“Since 1975 Philip Morris has attempted to re-introduce vitality to the Marlboro brand among new smokers with no success. . . . [T]he agency is requested to . . . [r]eview advertising concepts that are capable of competing with Winfield during the critical 2–4 year period where brand selection is made by people disposed to smoke later.”
Philip Morris document, 23 July 1984, “Marlboro advertising brief for Leo Burnett Australia” (Bates 2023265680/5683).
www.pmdocs.com/getimg.asp?pgno=0&start=0&bool=2023265680/5683&docid=2023265680/5683 (Accessed 5 September 1999).
In country after country, powerful leaders spoke out against tobacco.
“Today, I'm taking further steps to make sure that every time a Canadian lights up, the first thing that comes to mind are the health consequences—that tobacco kills.”
Canadian Health Minister Allan Rock. Source: Health Minister unveils new advertisements against tobacco. “REAL Health Magazine (Health Canada)” 1999 Jun 16.
“Smoking kills. It kills 120,000 people every year. It first hooks people and then kills them off at a rate of 120,000 a year in the (United Kingdom) alone. Every year, tens of thousands of children start smoking. That must stop.”
Health Secretary Frank Dobson, in a statement announcing a ban on all billboard, newspaper, and magazine promotions from 10 December 1999. Source: UK moves to stub out tobacco advertising. “Reuters” 1999 Jun 17.
“[French smoking rates are] a public health catastrophe and a national disgrace.”
France's Health Minister, Bernard Kouchner, who last week unveiled an arsenal of anti-tobacco measures. Source: Mais non! Vin, smoking under fire in France. “Deseret News (Utah)” 1999 Jun 18.
“Nothing will stop the government from combating the use of tobacco, not even economic interests.”
Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso. Source: Brazil announces measures to cut tobacco use. “Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition” 1999 May 31.
“We cannot rest when so many global health threats face us today. We cannot rest while the death grip of big tobacco is cutting short the lives of so many children.”
United States First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, in videotaped remarks released in Geneva to coincide with the World Health Organization's “1999 World Health Report”. Source: UN agency ups malaria, tobacco campaigns. Reuters.
Tobacco issues crossed many international borders—sometimes legally.
“We can't put our logo on the same poster as the cigarette brand. The (European Union) isn't officially participating in this event.”
Unidentified European Union official. The Spanish Embassy and the European Union have suddenly withdrawn their support for this week's Beirut International Jazz Festival after discovering that they were to share the sponsorship with Winston cigarettes. Source: Western missions cancel role in jazz fest. “Daily Star (London)” 1999 May 28.
“A penalty of $150 million would be less than one percent of the revenue losses that were incurred by Canadian governments as a result of the smuggling. That a settlement of a penny on the dollar is even being considered [by Revenue Canada] is outrageous.”
NSRA Legal Counsel David Sweanor, the author of a report on Canada's smuggling losses. Source: Will negotiations buy immunity for cigarette executives?. Canada Newswire 1999 Apr 20.
“Five billion cigarettes a year is the capacity of that plant next door. And our choice was either to close that plant and send a thousand people home or just fill the orders that were wanted in the US. No question in our mind, we knew some of those cigarettes were going to come back to Canada. We didn't know how many.”
Don Brown, chief executive officer of Imperial Tobacco Ltd. Source: Tobacco company took advantage of smuggling: chairman. “National Post” 1999 Apr 29.
“This is a part of a psychological war: they know we are heavy smokers.”
A young Belgrade resident, on NATO targeting of two cigarette factories. Source: Shortage of tobacco makes life difficult for Yugoslavs. Agence France Presse (AFP) 1999 Apr 13.
“After all, they can always buzz off to the Commons.”
Britain's famed class conflict enters the smoking wars as Baroness Trumpington, a Conservative peer and devout defender of smoking, comments on peers who object to smoking in the House of Lords. Source: Peers delay ban on smoking. “The Times (London)” 1999 May 11.
Smoking is a violation of Islamic law, according to clerics in sermons throughout the United Arab Emirates. Source: Emirates' clerics declare smoking ‘un-Islamic’. “CNN News” 1999 Jun 12.
“Who cares about getting heroin or marijuana? We want a cigarette.”
Inmate complaint, according to Nard Claar, associate warden of the Fremont Correctional Facility. News reports indicate that inmates in smoke-free prisons focus their efforts more on tobacco and less on illegal drugs. Source: Inmates fume over tobacco ban. “Denver (Colorado) Post” 1999 Apr 7.
“Maybe Dot Cotton could end up on a cancer ward to show just how agonising it can be to die from smoking.”
Swindon South Member of Parliament Julia Drown, on smoking in popular British soaps such as “EastEnders.” The health ministry is urging programme makers to show smoking's consequences. Source: Tessa tells TV soaps to stub it out. “Sunday Mirror (London)” 1999 Jun 13.
“Everybody on the Flintstones smoked and all of them ended up dying of smoking-related diseases. . . . That little cute laugh that Betty and Wilma did with their mouths closed? They came up with that because when they normally laughed, because they were smokers, they coughed.”
Michael O'Meara, son of Jean Vander Pyl. Source: Jean Vander Pyl, voice of Wilma Flintstone, dies. “San Francisco Examiner” 1999 Apr 14.
“Perhaps that's the important lesson for today: The tobacco industry was able to thwart even the Nazis.”
Jefferson Decker, on the Nazis' inability to stamp out smoking. Source: Inside publishing Nazi health tips. “Lingua Franca (New York)” 1999 May 1.
“All's well that ends well.” RJR Nabisco Company Chairman Steven Goldstone. Source: RJR ends era as tobacco-food giant. Reuters 1999 May 12.
“I don't know how big the industry will be 25, 30 years from now, but it will be a substantial and profitable business to be in.”
Andrew J Schindler, president and chief executive officer of the new RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company. Source: Chief at RJR looking ahead: Schindler says company to focus on shareholders and innovation, not Philip Morris. “Winston-Salem (North Carolina) Journal” 1999 Jun 15.
“There's an incredibly attractive cash generation out of this business. . . . You could lose a (litigation) case every business day every year and I think it would have minimal impact on that cash generation.”
Goldman Sachs & Co. analyst Marc Cohen, on RJR's approximately $600 million in free cash flow a year from its tobacco unit—which is now the United States' only stand-alone tobacco company. Source: Tales of the tape: is desire burning for RJ Reynolds stk? “Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition” 1999 May 28.
“They're dessert with a cigarette.”
Leah Parrish, 19, on flavoured bidis. Source: Flavored smokes appeal to teens. Associated Press 1999 May 10.
It's time for some frank talk from the industry. Candor sells—or at least, might keep you out of legal hot water.
“Despite claims to the contrary, smokeless tobacco has not been scientifically established (that is, it has not been proven) to be a cause of oral cancer.”
United States Tobacco (UST) statement on smokeless tobacco and health. Quoted in: Whitehouse takes issue with US Tobacco Co. “Providence (Rhode Island) Journal-Bulletin” 1999 Apr 10
“[The United States] Surgeon General and other public health authorities have concluded that the use of smokeless tobacco can cause oral cancer and is addictive.”
UST finally acknowledges smokeless tobacco can cause oral cancer, sort of. Source: Tobacco company to pay $15,000 for false statements. “MSNBC” 1999 May 11.
“No participating manufacturer may make any material misrepresentation of fact regarding the health consequences of using any tobacco product, including any tobacco additives or other ingredients.”
Master settlement agreement clause which Rhode Island Attorney General Whitehouse claimed UST violated by the above statement. Source: Whitehouse takes issue with US Tobacco Co. “Providence (Rhode Island) Journal-Bulletin” 1999 Apr 10.
“The statistics are sufficient for us to conclude that smoking causes these diseases. . . . We have a clear responsibility to make cigarettes as safe as we can with the highest possible materials and to the highest possible standards. . . . We have a responsibility to understand our product.”
Nicholas Brookes, chairman of Brown and Williamson Tobacco, testifying at the Steele trial. Source: Tobacco executive testifies at trial of Missouri lawsuit. “Kansas City (Missouri) Star” 1999 May 12.
Are we talking the beer, the whisky, or the credit card? BAT has registered trademarks for all three. Source: Cigarette firms plot ways round advertising ban. “The (London) Independent” 1999 Apr 25.
“This Web site represents a change in tone and in substance . . . [but] [t]he discussion of nicotine and addiction is filled with the same type of qualifiers and conditions that the industry has been using to blur the issue for the last four or five years.”
Matthew Myers, general counsel for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, on B&W's new openness about smoking and health. Source: Brown & Williamson gives frank advice on its web site. “Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition” 1999 Apr 9. (See also pages 214–215 of “Web Watch” in “Tobacco Control” 1999;8(2).
“The [newly-released secret] documents show . . . [t]here was a recognition that cigarettes were disastrously harmful and they (Imperial Tobacco) were spending great amounts of time and money trying to do something about it. At the same time they were secretly trying to make cigarettes safer, publicly they were refusing to acknowledge the health risks.”
Cynthia Callard of Physicians for a Smoke Free Canada. Source: Secret tobacco trials held: documents. “Toronto (Ontario) Star” Apr 28.
Secret document quotes
“Gori called a meeting on the subject of a “Low Tar/High Nicotine Cigarette.” . . . He felt that this could be a possible or even a desirable product of three to four years hence and thus could be useful to the industry. . . . He was willing to use a “nicotine cocktail” to increase the nicotine content of these cigarettes. There was considerable discussion about the problems at this time of treating tobacco with approximately 100 lbs of nicotine in today's climate, due to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), etc. It was the opinion of both Hughes and Gori that this cigarette, were it to be made, would have to be made overseas due to problems of governmental regulations.”
Dr TS Osdene, Philip Morris USA, in a memo concerning a meeting of scientists from virtually every major American tobacco company. Source: Meeting with Dr Gio Gori, (National Cancer Institute), Bethesda, Maryland, August 26, 1977, at 9 AM. “Tobacco BBS” 1999 Apr 10.
“Is there a way that this study could be done to yield a more ‘credible’ publication? Presumably, we're looking at Gori and Lee (?). Farming out the cotinine analyses to Neal Benowitz is a nice touch, but it won't make him a coauthor. O.K. Where does all this leave us? we should get on with it! . . . Let's do it while we still have the money and before we think of more stupid things to spend it on.”
Robert A Pages, in a 1991 memo to Steve Parrish. Source: Subject: Gori confounders proposal. “Tobacco BBS” 1999 May 12.
“(Tobacco) was never used in everyday experience—it was a sacrament, an offering. . . . But now we're fighting to reverse a cycle of disease.”
Fidel Moreno, president of the Native American Council for Tobacco Litigation. Source: Indians sue to be part of tobacco settlement: $1 billion requested to prevent addiction. “San Francisco Chronicle” 1999 Jun 4.
“What these verdicts show is that jurors continue to use their common sense and are wary of claims that smokers were unaware of health risks or that the company's actions influenced personal decisions on whether to smoke.”
Charles R Wall, deputy general counsel for Philip Morris, on the Karney et al verdicts. Source: Memphis jury verdicts in favor of Philip Morris USA applauded. Business Wire 1999 May 10.
“In short, the fair weight of the evidence was sufficient to disclose a high degree of reprehensibility in the conduct which the jury found to exist. Such conduct was not isolated, sporadic, occasional or temporary. Rather, it spanned many decades, and the effect was injury to a very large number of persons annually and in the most serious of ways, including death from lung cancer. . . . Even as applied to adults, the concepts of free choice and personal responsibility afford little by way of mitigation of the reprehensibility of the conduct of Philip Morris.”
John E Munter Judge of the Superior Court. Source: April 6 order in Henley v. Philip Morris Inc. “CalLaw/The (San Francisco) Recorder” 1999 Apr 6.
The compromises people and organisations make when they agree to partner with tobacco make for interesting contortions—especially when it involves a youth or health organisation.
“We've got a lot of different issues to deal with. It's easy to be strident when you're a one-issue organization.”
Michael Preston, executive director of MedChi, the Maryland State Medical Society, which has disassociated itself from Maryland Children's Initiative because of ads attacking five cigarette tax filibustering Senators. Source: Butting heads over an ad. “Baltimore (Maryland) Sun” 1999 May 11.
“There's nothing illegal about it. It's just an ethical and moral dilemma. . . . The fact is, when you accept money from any corporation, you're in that company's pocket.”
Jim Backer, former executive director of Delta 2000, a California smoking prevention group which has applied for a grant from Philip Morris' Helping the Helpers Hunger Awards Program. Source: Agency applies for aid offered by tobacco giant. “Contra Costa (California) Times” 1999 May 16.
“It's a confluence of interests that benefits everyone except, perhaps, the public. The university gets needed cash, the vested interests have another way to curry favor with politicians, and politicians have taken one additional step toward immortality.”
Charles Lewis, executive director of the Center for Public Integrity. Source: Firms invest in philanthropy of self-interest: supporting institutes named for politicians, donors can remain anonymous. “Washington Post” 1999 May 8.
“To have a health network headed by a tobacco executive brings a new meaning to the word ‘hypocrisy.’”
Ed Sweda, a senior attorney with the Tobacco Products Liability Project in Boston. Philip Morris board member Rupert Murdoch's Fox Entertainment Group announced that it will merge with the American Health Network to launch a new web-cable property called The Health Network. Source: Fox gets healthy (but keeps smoking). “The Industry Standard” 1999 May 27.
“The work I did for the Tobacco Institute ended in July 1987. . . . I was a kid . . . and I had to take what came my way.”
Scott Stapf now works for nonprofits—and the National Association of Attorneys General. Source: Borders R Us: smoke gets in your eyes. “Washington Post” 1999 Apr 16.
Yet despite powerful temptations, some do resist.
“Philip Morris may improve its corporate image, but 4-H will certainly not. As one older 4-H youth said, ‘4-H does not belong in Marlboro country.’”
Ann Brosnahan, California 4-H Advisory Committee. (4-H is a youth agricultural programme in the United States.) Source: Letter from the California 4-H statewide advisory board on the National Council's decision to partner with Philip Morris to deliver tobacco prevention education programs. “Tobacco BBS” 1999 Apr 12.
The newspaper and magazine advertising issue had lots of play this quarter.
“What we're seeing is that given the public outrage in general against the tobacco companies (tobacco ads) could potentially jeopardize a magazine's revenues from its other advertisers. It's becoming less compelling for a magazine to want a tobacco advertiser.”
Priya Narang, who oversees media planning and buying for the Dewitt Media agency. Source: FOCUS: Are magazines the last stand for tobacco ads? Reuters 1999 Apr 28.
“I think it's the responsible thing to do. There certainly isn't any way to say it's safe to use a carcinogen.”
Honolulu Star-Bulletin publisher John Flanagan, who said the paper will no longer accept tobacco advertising. Source: Star-Bulletin snuffing out tobacco advertising . “Honolulu (Hawaii) Star-Bulletin” 1999 May 26.
“The First Amendment gives the press the right to publish what it chooses to. . . . . We continue to support the right of other publications to run any advertisement they feel is appropriate for their audience.”
Arthur O Sulzberger Jr, publisher of the “New York Times” and chairman of the company. Source: The New York Times bans cigarette ads. “New York Times” 1999 Apr 28.
“When we heard about the Attorney General's concerns, we immediately contacted her for more information and conducted an evaluation. We were provided with information we had not seen before, which persuaded us to discontinue this particular placement [in Freekick magazine]. . . . We do not market our tobacco products to kids, and we are committed to following the letter—and the spirit—of the Master Settlement Agreement.”
Ellen Merlo, Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Philip Morris USA. Source: Philip Morris USA to discontinue cigarette advertising in soccer magazine. Business Wire 1999 May 13.
“At a time when pension and savings funds that offer both consistent growth and tobacco-free investment do exist, I find it disturbing to receive promotional literature tucked in myBMJ inviting me to invest in the tobacco trade.”
Chris Johnstone, clinical assistant in addictions, in a letter to the “British Medical Journal”. Source: I don't want to be invited to invest in the tobacco trade. “British Medical Journal” 1999 Jun 4.
The science of anti-youth-smoking advertising is a relatively new field that is about to come centre stage, as the US$300 million master settlement agreement programme gets started. Meanwhile, we do have some evidence from which to learn.
“3,000 kids start smoking every day. Let's make smoking history.”
1999 anti-smoking billboard endorsed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention featuring a group of extremely young children.
This ad is considered among the weakest out there, but was chosen by several states (New York, District of Columbia, and Minnesota) to be run as part of the master settlement agreement's billboard replacement programme. Adults may take one message from the billboard's headline, but kids may begin to feel left behind, seeing that such massive numbers of their own peers are beginning to smoke. The tag line is constructed as an alarum for action (“Let's make . . .”), and for adults, it's fine. For a kid, the call to action may sound more like: “Let's make history (by smoking in such massive numbers)!”
“This misperception alone—that everyone is doing it—can be a powerful motivator behind much of the drug use we see. . . . Youth need an accurate portrayal of drug use that begins with correcting the misperception that everyone is doing it.”
Thomas J Gleaton, president of National Parents' Resource Institute for Drug Education (PRIDE). Source: Study shows nine-year-olds already involved in drugs and alcohol. Business Wire 1999 Apr 7.
The one campaign that did take kids' ideas and feelings into account was Florida's “Truth” effort. When the programme came up for renewal, Republicans in the Florida legislature promptly sliced its funding. But a study found that after only one year of this hard-hitting campaign, teenage smoking in the state had appeared to drop an unprecedented 10%. After protests, the programme was reinstated—but with half the amount of funds requested. Most of those fired were $6/hour staffers—the kids.
“People had already come to view the Florida campaign as the best youth campaign in the world and with these (survey) results they've proven it. . . . The pressure to move to this kind of campaign is going to be stronger than ever.”
University of California, San Francisco Professor Stanton Glantz. Source: Teen anti-tobacco campaign may lose state funding. “Miami (Florida) Herald” 1999 Mar 20.
“One of the whole ideas was having young people involved in the program, and they've pretty much eliminated anyone under 18 who works in the office. . . . What they've done is taken out everything that made the program special, the people who had the revolutionary ideas about tobacco and had started something new.”
Jared Perez, an 18-year-old who lost his part-time job as marketing director for Students Working Against Tobacco. Source: Anti-tobacco ad staff cut, alarming activists. “Miami (Florida) Herald” 1999 Jun 3.
Quotes of the weird
“It is a very complicated question, which requires an extremely complicated answer.”
Philip Morris research director Kathy Ellis, when asked at the 1994 congressional hearings if smoking is addictive. Quoted in ‘The last cigarette: smoking, from divine to disgusting’. “New York Times” 1999 Jun 9.
“If advertising is removed and the only means of competition is on price, then prices may fall. That is the flaw in their argument that banning advertising will reduce consumption. Ironically, consumption could go the other way.”
John Carlisle, spokesman for the Tobacco Manufacturer's Association (UK). Source: Tobacco ads face ban by end of year. “The (London) Independent” 1999 Jun 18.
“As for putting a warning on cigarette packets, I think it would be potentially misleading and would trivialise the existing warnings. . . . Mentioning impotence on the packs would detract from the fact that other more serious diseases are related to smoking.”
Unidentified spokesman for British American Tobacco. Source: Cigarette packet warnings ‘could cut impotence’. “The (London) Times” 1999 Jun 2.
“We've got asbestos-lined pockets. . . . We don't let cash burn a hole in them.”
James Tisch, chief executive officer of Loews Corporation. Funny he should mention . . . the Tisch family owns Lorillard's, which has had two asbestos cigarette suit losses recently. Source: Like fathers, like sons: a management style remains at Loews. “New York Times” 1999 May 30.
“Consumers are best served when retailers can present cigarette brands in the best interests of the consumer, not Philip Morris.”
Richard Cooper, an RJ Reynolds attorney, in his opening statement in the Philip Morris “Retail Leaders” case. Are the “best interests of the consumer” best served by any tobacco company? Quoted in Philip Morris, Big Tobacco in flap. Associated Press 1999 Jun 9.
“The targeting is not because they're African-American—it's because they like menthol cigarettes.”
Tobacco attorney Jeffrey G Weil. Source: Court urged to dismiss menthol cigarette class action. “Law News Network (New York)” 1999 Apr 8.
“I'm waiting in line for American cigarettes and I am asking myself, ‘Am I crazy?’. . . . I'm very angry with myself for doing this. Like any patriot, I should smoke domestic brands.”
Serbian artist Nenand Novakovic. Source: Serbs line up for fuel, cigarettes. “Baltimore (Maryland) Sun” 1999 May 10.
“would you believe that quitting smoking can be hazardous to your health?”
Neal Travis, recently diagnosed with emphysema, continues the Murdoch-owned “New York Post” tradition of reporting on the health benefits of smoking. Source: Neal Travis' New York: I'm coming to you live. “New York Post” 1999 Jun 10.
“I'll end now on a personal note, if you'll permit me. Today is an anniversary of sorts for me—the completion of 26 years' association with the tobacco industry. . . . It seems like last week. I look forward to many more years with this bloodied but resolute, determined and unflinching industry.”
Former National Association of Science Writers newsletter editor, Leonard Zahn, in a 1981 yearly report to the Council for Tobacco Research. Source: Exposé: ‘journalist’ conned colleagues for 35 years as spy for tobacco. “PROBE” 1999 Apr 1.
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