Tobacco Accountability Bulletin
News, Updates and
Analyses of Issues Related to International Tobacco
Industry "Youth Smoking Prevention" Programs - II
Internal industry documents illuminate the real purpose of Philip Morris's
"youth smoking prevention" programs: to shift blame away from
the industry by creating the impression that it is "socially responsible,"
to prevent effective tobacco control legislation, and ultimately, to
protect the industry's profits.
Opposition to Effective Measures
In a Philip Morris document entitled "Youth Campaign
for Latin America," (23 September, 1994) Cathy L. Leiber, Director,
Corporate Affairs, Latin American Region states:
"Increasing pressure from anti-tobacco forces in
Latin America has created the need to explore various options to counter
Taking into consideration the emerging adverse
legislative climate in the region, we have an opportunity to create
good will for the tobacco industry by going public with a campaign to
discourage juvenile smoking." (PM Doc, Bates: 2503016523/6524)
Similarly, a Philip Morris memo from Colin Goddard, "Pakistan
- Meeting in London," 9 July 1994. (meeting between PM, BAT, and
"Since the industry in Pakistan is facing unprecedented
opposition, not only on the advertising front but on most other issues
too (particularly ETS), the time had come for the companies to be considerably
more proactive. This reflects the attitude that is currently prevailing
in almost every country in the region to one degree or another.
industry code will be written
so that it can be used as both a
lobbying lever and an argument against not introducing formal legislation
was proposed that we look at developing a minor's programme that would
show that industry to be willing to work cooperatively with the authorities
in at least one area in which we have a mutual objective." (Philip
Morris, Bates: 2504024765/4767)
Needed: Laws to Protect Youth from Tobacco Industry
Most smokers start smoking in their teens. The tobacco
industry knows all too well that if it does not recruit new smokers,
it will die.
Its "youth smoking prevention" programs are
a smokescreen for its real agenda: to make a killing off the health
and lives of millions of youth alive today. Its programs have the cleverly
designed dual goal of winning the respect of citizens, politicians and
government officials, while proving ineffective with youth.
If the tobacco industry was serious about reducing youth
smoking, it would stop resisting and undermining tobacco control measures
that work, such as tobacco tax increases, comprehensive advertising
bans, and restrictions on smoking in public places.
For more information, see:
Danger! PR in the Playground: tobacco industry initiatives
on youth smoking
(Action on Smoking and Health - UK, The Cancer Research Campaign)
British American Tobacco's Youth Smoking Prevention
Campaign: What are its actual objectives?
(Work for a Better Bangladesh, Bangladesh Anti-Tobacco Alliance, PATH
Canada, August 2001)
The International Tobacco Accountability Bulletin
is produced by Essential Action,
a corporate accountability group.
Editors: Robert Weissman & Anna White
Washington, D.C. 20036
Email: [email protected]