over Wal-Mart Profits!
Action of the Month
Thanks to all of you who sent letters to Wal-Mart President and CEO Lee
Scott to protest the company's aggressive cigarette marketing in Mexico
and around the world via SmokeFree Educational Services, Inc.'s webpage
The good news: a total of 740 letters have been sent! The bad news: WAL-MART
STILL HASN'T CHANGED ITS POLICY!
As the world's largest vendor of cigarettes, Wal-Mart's international
double standard is dangerous for global public health. The company's lame
excuse is: it's legal. We all know what Wal-Mart is really thinking: cigarettes
= $$$, we're a big corporation, and we can get away with it!
Not if we have any say in the matter! Here are some ways that you and
your partner can heighten pressure on Wal-Mart to change its anti-health
- Collect More International Examples. As the image of Wal-Mart
check out counters in Mexico proves, a single photo and a simple anecdote
can be powerful. How does Wal-Mart market cigarettes in your or your
partner's country*? Stop by, observe, and snap a photo! For examples
- Distribute "Making a Killing" to Your Local Wal-Mart.
This summer, Infact is distributing copies of its video "Making
a Killing" to Wal-Mart stores across the U.S. Over a dozen GPTC
groups have already signed up to meet with and deliver MAK videos to
local Wal-Mart store managers. If you would like to participate, contact
Essential Action and we will have Infact send you an organizing kit.
If possible, bring photos of Wal-Mart cigarette promotions in other
countries and a statement by your partner re: tobacco's international
public health toll.
- Demonstrate in Front of Wal-Mart. Gather members of local organizations,
students, and others to picket the entrance of a local Wal-Mart. Carry
signs with your demands; short, catchy slogans; and appropriate visuals,
e.g. blown up images of Wal-Mart's cigarette promotion in Mexico and
elsewhere. Bring costumes and props and do "street theatre."
Brainstorm appropriate chants ahead of time. For starters, why not fiddle
around with the "Wal-Mart Cheer" (see below)?
- Generate Local Media Coverage. Issue a press release. Invite
local media to attend your meeting with a Wal-Mart manager and/or your
demonstration. Write an editorial for a local newspaper. Call in to
a local radio talk show. Use your global partnership as an added "local
hook" to the story.
- Send More Letters! If you haven't already done so, send a letter
to Wal-Mart expressing your opinion re: their anti-health practices
abroad. See below for an update on SmokeFree Educational Services, Inc.'s
letter campaign, talking points, and contact information.
- And those of you in countries without Wal-Marts: please report
any other U.S. chains that show a blatant disregard for the health and
well-being of their international customers.
*As of June 1, 2001, Wal-Mart International had 1,092 "units"
outside the U.S.: Mexico (512), Puerto Rico (17), Canada (176), Argentina
(11), China (11)Korea (6), Germany (94), United Kingdom (244).
Wal-Mart: Stop Pushing Cigarettes Abroad!
Updated info on letter-writing campaign, Talking points, Contact info
Wal-Mart has been caught selling a toy cigarette pack to a child in
"He came running into the parking lot hollering, 'Dad, Dad, I
got a pack of cigarettes, I got a pack of cigarettes.' " recalled
the boy's 39 year old father. The father was fuming after he realized
the realistic facsimile was meant as a child's plaything. "My boy
was just gung-ho. He wanted to show his friends: 'I can smoke, I can
Although Wal-Mart unintentionally sold this toy cigarette pack, there
can be no doubt that Wal-Mart intentionally places giant cigarette ads
at every checkout counter in less developed countries around the world
(see picture at http://www.smokefree.org/walmart).
In response to hundreds of smokefree advocate letters, Wal-Mart responds
that it is legal. Wal-Mart's response doesn't make sense. It is also
LEGAL to place giant cigarette ads at checkout counters in the U.S,
but Wal-Mart doesn't do it. The question remains: If Wal-Mart doesn't
do it here, why does it do it in less developed countries?
If you would like to send a letter to Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott, go to
Your letter will be FAXED and E-MAILED to Mr. Scott and key Wal-Mart
Thank you for your support. Together we can get Wal-Mart to stop promoting
tobacco addiction in less developed countries.
Joseph W. Cherner, President
SmokeFree Educational Services, Inc.
Wal-Mart Contact Information
President & CEO
702 Southwest 8th Street
Bentonville, AR 72716
Via FAX: 501-621-2063
- Tell Wal-Mart how it makes you feel when you walk into a Wal-Mart
in a low-income country and see cigarette ads at every checkout counter.
- If Wal-Mart wouldn't do it this country, why does it do it in other
- What is Wal-Mart's policy about placing cigarette ads at every cash
register? Is it, "We'll do it wherever we can get away with it?"
- Isn't the health of children in less developed countries as important
as the health of U.S. children?
- None of Wal-Mart's competitors place cigarette ads at every checkout
- The argument that "the practice is legal" is bogus. The
practice is legal in the U.S., but one doesn't see such blatant cigarette-peddling
there. And just because a practice is "legal," doesn't make
it right. If we lived by this rationalization in the U.S., slavery would
still exist, and women still wouldn't be able to vote.
- According to Wal-Mart's website, the company prides itself with "exceeding
customer expectations." We expect Wal-Mart to abide by its U.S.
The Wal-Mart Cheer
Home Page> About Wal-Mart > The Wal-Mart Culture > The Wal-Mart
Give me a W!
Give me an A!
Give me an L!
Give me a Squiggly!
Give me an M!
Give me an A!
Give me an R!
Give me a T!
What's that spell?
Who's number one?
The Customer! Always!
EXCERPT: Don't be alarmed if you hear these enthusiastic shouts from
our associates as you're shopping at your favorite Wal-Mart store. All
the noise is our Wal-Mart cheer. Some people may think it's corny, but
we're proud of it. It's the way we show pride in our company - in fact,
we hope you'll join right in. Over the years, our company has grown to
include stores, associates and customers in many parts of the world, so
now our cheer can be heard in many different languages.
Global Partnerships for Tobacco Control
P.O. Box 19405 ~ Washington,
Tel: +1 202-387-8030 ~ Fax: +1 202-234-5176
Email: [email protected]