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Smoking and Health Initiatives - P.M. International

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

In this speech, presumed speaker R.W. "Bill" Murray, President and CEO of Philip Morris, discusses company's need to manipulate smokers into supporting the tobacco industry, despite the fact that most of them want to quit using tobacco products:

...How can we change the public's view towards smoking?


Firstly, I believe we must work harder to get smokers to help the industry...There are some 50 million, smokers today in the U.S. I realize that research tells us that the majority of smokers wished they did not smoke and are, therefore, unlikely to be of much help to the industry. There are probably 5% or so of smokers who are ready to stand up for their habit and this would give us a body of some 2.5 million, people. This is a large block of voters, even in a country as large as the U.S.


Murray continues, musing about how the company can leverage smokers' hopelessness over their inability to quit into help for the company to fight increased cigarette taxes:

My guess is that a large number of our smokers must take the view that, though they may try to quit, they will probably not be successful. Having faced up to the fact that they will probably continue to smoke, I cannot believe that they will willingly accept higher taxes on cigarettes. On the tax issue, therefore, we can probably mobilize a fairly large proportion of the 50 million smokers in the U.S. and this is a formidable number of voters ...

Murray also expresses admiration for the homosexual movement for its success at bringing people formerly considered social pariahs into the mainstream, and expresses a desire to learn from their example:

It seems to me that homosexuals have made enormous progress in changing their image in this country in the last couple of decades. A few years back they were considered damaging, bad and immoral, but today they have become acceptable members of society. There must be a considerable body of social science in existence which could tell us how a group such as the homosexual movement has been able to change its public image so dramatically. We should research this material and perhaps learn from it.

Title Smoking and Health Initiatives - P.M. International
Date 19850300/E
Type Speech, Presentation, List
Bates 2023268366/8374
Collection Philip Morris
Pages 9
URL: http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/gvs98e00

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