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The strategies, propaganda tactics and corporate behaviors employed by the tobacco industry can give insight into the behavior of other multinational industries and corporations. To that end,TobaccoWiki seeks to increase public understanding of tobacco industry strategies to deceive the public about the health effects of smoking and secondhand smoke; delay regulation of cigarettes, influence regulation and standards in their favor;market their products more heavily in the third world, where there is less regulation; market to young people; form front groups, coalitions and fake "grassroots" groups to do the industry's bidding; leverage human emotional and psychological needs to make cigarette advertising more effective; target less-educated, low income and minority ethnic groups; alter the American judicial system to block lawsuits ("tort reform"); intimidate legislators, regulators, public health scientists and voluntary health organizations; draft and pass laws in their favor; preempt local efforts to limit indoor smoking; engineer cigarettes for addiction, and much, much more.
Like Wikipedia, the collaborative, online, free encyclopedia, Tobaccowiki is also a collaborative project. We welcome participation from everyone: students young and old, journalists, smokers and non-smokers, food service workers, public health workers, tobacco control advocates, musicians, scientists, researchers and just plain curious folks.
Participants at a 1993 Philip Morris (PM) meeting were asked to brainstorm about a headline to be used in a PM-paid, full-page "advertorial" to be placed in a major European newspaper. The document contains ideas from that brainstorming session. Ideas floated by PM employees include ridiculing the idea that people have a right to clean air, and threatening society by saying that "if we shut off smoking as a pressure release, stress will build and be released in a more destructive manner than smoking. (Use specific examples like the smoker who punched a flight attendant.)" Other ideas for the headline included:
"Life Causes Death! (Explain how lifestyles differ, the importance of lifestyle freedom and diversity, and the relation between lifestyle and risk...)"
"The Greatest Myth of the Century: Passive smoking is a major (public health) problem. (Explain why passive smoking is not a major problem. Describe how and why activists have turned it into a giant Pink Elephant. Explain in detail how all the attention and resources dedicated to ETS/smoking distracts from more pressing political 'real life' problems ...)"
"Smokers outside: Are smokers drug addicts? ... Explain clearly the differences between smokers an drug addicts as to ridicule the comparison ... Focus on the increasingly common phenomenon of having to smoke outside ..."
"Is American Intolerance/Puritanism coming to Europe?"
"Do non-smokers have the right to 'smoke-free air'? (One of the claims often made is that N-S [non-smokers] have the right to 'smoke-free' or 'clean' air ... Develop arguments that show flawed logic, i.e., if we accept the anti's premise, then all cars should be banned also..."
"If stop smoking, the Stress Will Kill You! (Develop and support the argument that anti-smoking scare tactics lead to increased stress because of smoker harassment/discrimination which turns out to be a worse problem. Society needs its pressure-release valves and if we shut off smoking as a pressure release, stress will build and be released in a more destructive manner than smoking. Use specific examples like the smoker who punched a flight attendant.)"
The document also states "we must position [the antis] as extreme and unreasonable," and proposes ways PM could do this:
"Anti-smoking has become a profit business in its own industry."
"Expose anti links to pharmaceutical/WHO [World Health Organization], Mormons, bureaucrats, public health officials, other ...
"Develop arguments through research on antis and Intolerance, Zeal and Puritanism ..."
Ban on tobacco sales in drug stores survives appeal
Philip Morris said that San Francisco's ban on selling cigarettes in drug stores infringed on the company's First Amendment rights to freedom of speech, but the Ninth Circuit Court disagreed. The ordinance, which took effect in October, 2008 and was the first of its type in the country, prohibits sales of cigarettes and other tobacco products in San Francisco's nearly 60 drugstores. Philip Morris argued that the ban effectively forced the company to pull its advertising out of the stores, which interfered with its constitutional right to communicate with customers. But the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco concluded that the ordinance does not restrict freedom of expression, saying that the city "limits where cigarettes may be sold; it doesn't prevent (Philip Morris) from advertising." The court ruled 3-0 to uphold a lower court judge's denial of an injunction against the ordinance.
"Smoking and health is of little concern to the African people and it seems not to be a popular issue among them. However, if an anti-smoking campaign supported by religious leaders and/or the medical profession is developed, this could seriously affect consumption because of the mentality of the Africans, and their faith in their religious leaders and doctors."
--From a 1979 Philip Morris Five Year Plan (for 1980-1984). 82 Pages long. This quote is found on Bates page --6084 (marked as Page 130 of the original document). View the document here.