Statement from the San Francisco Tobacco Free Coalition
Re: Big Tobacco's Use of California Names, Imagery, and Icons in Tobacco Advertising Abroad

February 19, 2003

Big Tobacco exploits and abuses imagery from California to hook smokers outside of the U.S. We've seen the internationally recognized Golden Gate Bridge, the postcard icon of San Francisco, used in ads in the Czech Republic to sell L&M cigarettes made by Philip Morris/Altria. And to promote their Parliament cigarettes, Philip Morris/Altria's ads feature the Golden Gate Bridge as it beckons to new and current smokers in Asian countries. The San Francisco Tobacco Free Coalition strongly objects to the use of California and San Francisco images in promoting deadly tobacco products, particularly given California's leadership role in tobacco control.

Meanwhile, Hollywood continues to turn out films that are popular worldwide and show famous actors and actresses smoking gratuitously. Smoking in the movies increased dramatically in the 1990s, where movie stars are 4 times more likely to smoke in films compared to the U.S. population. British American Tobacco/Rothman's profits from this by promoting "Hollywood" cigarettes that depict the smoker with the imagined "American" lifestyles and values promoted in these films.

The San Francisco Tobacco Free Coalition joins Essential Action in calling on the U.S. to support a comprehensive global tobacco advertising ban as part of the FCTC.