(Rally at NYC City Hall Park - February 19, 2003)

Comments by Kristin Riegel
Genesee County Reality Check

The tobacco industry has been using US images in many of it’s foreign promotions and advertisements. Why? Because it works so well. The tobacco companies have learned that one of the best advertising tactics you can use is to sell tobacco products as “being American”.

The tobacco industry falsely portrays America and its people as almost all being smokers, all for a bigger profit for them. When people in other countries were asked what cities come to mind when they think of the U.S., answers such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago were mentioned by some, but the number one answer by far was New York City.

Once again, Why? Because New York symbolizes everything people from many countries around the world want. – People want and admire the freedom, the success, the lifestyle. As the world’s most visible city, New York provides a great tool for the tobacco industry to use to market death. The Statue Of Liberty seems to be the most abused US symbol when it comes to tobacco promotions. The people of NY and of the US should be outraged that lady liberty is being exploited and is a representative for an industry that kills over half of its users.

Examples Shown:
"New York" brand cigarettes (China)
"Manhattan" brand cigarettes (Peru) -- Comment: She’s Happy, she’s pretty, she’s enjoying life
"American Dream" brand cigarettes (Georgia) -- How much more can you say? And at the bottom of this “patriotic box” is the head of the Statue Of Liberty.