Daily Doc: TI: TI: Smokers don't rebel

Daily Doc: TI: Smokers don't rebel

Document Title: Lyon's Report to the Communications Committee on the Status of Airline Smoking Matters
Bates #: TIMN0014765/4770

September 16, 2000

The Tobacco Institute (TI) did its best to fight the initial airline smoking ban, saying it would cause a smoker rebellion and carrying on "non-public" actions like prompting tobacco company employees and employees to write letters to the Department of Transportation and Congress opposing the ban. This letter-writing network, which encompassed not only tobacco industry employees but employees of their subsidiaries, like Kraft and Nabisco, was often used by the Tobacco Institute to skew the appearance of public opinion to agencies and legislators on tobacco issues. The network was called the Tobacco Action Network, or TAN.

The Tobacco Institute never denied that secondhand smoke exposure in aircraft cabins was dangerous. Rather, they deflected attention from the problem of ETS exposure by broadening the issue into one of overall air quality, taking the discussion into addressing problems on aircraft with "ozone, cosmic radiation, microbes, viruses."

Perhaps of more interest, though, is the admission in this document that, much to the Institute's frustration, a rebellion by real smokers failed to materialize. Instead they noted that smokers went along with the ban easily, with no hint of "rebellion." This typical real-life reaction of smokers to smoking bans is completely counter to the industry's repeated predications (even now) that mayhem and economic devastation will occur from such bans.
Document Title: Lyon's Report to the Communications Committee on the Status of Airline Smoking Matters
Type of Document: Speech/presentation - confidential stamp
Author Lyon
Recipient: Communications Committee (Tobacco Institute)
Date: N/A (19000000)
Site: Tobacco Institute Document site http://www.tobaccoinstitute.com/
Page Count 6
Bates No. TIMN0014765/4770
URL: On Tobacco Documents Online: http://my.tobaccodocuments.org/tdo/view.cfm?CitID=278&GetListArrayIdx=17&ShowImages=yes
Litigation Usage:
Found Using Search Criteria: "Speech"

As you recall, our two-year plan to bring about sunset of the airline smoking ban contemplates two phases...the short term phase surrounding implementations of the ban is just about over...we are now entering the longer term.

We have accomplished a great deal during the last two months. Our non-public efforts have produced good results. Member company and Institute direct mail activity resulted in activists sending thousands of letters and postcards to airline executives, members of Congress and the Department of Transportation.

Our second mailing on the issue to our Tobacco Action Network Activists generated nearly 6,000 communications to the airlines and more than 4,000 the DOT, ...

Just after the ban took effect, we issued an FYI mailing of two letters to the editor...one raised the question of a fairness...the other raised questions about serious cabin air quality issues like ozone, cosmic radiation, humidification and airborne microbes and viruses....

...Congressman Durbin [the original sponsor of the airline ban] claimed that the smokers' rebellion failed....Indeed that it never materialized. He based his conclusion on the fact that smokers haven't rioted in the sky...That only one smoker has been arrested for violating the law. As sophomoric and insulting as the congressman's reasoning is, it raises a significant question: How do smokers view the ban?

...[B]y all accounts, implementation of the ban went very smoothly. This really isn't surprising...smokers are law-abiding and reasonable people. At same time, we were somewhat surprised that there weren't at least a few random incidents since there was little public discussion of the ban until the day it went into effect....

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Anne Landman, Regional Program Coordinator
American Lung Association of Colorado, West Region Office
Grand Junction, CO
(970) 245-2120
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