STRATEGIES OF THE TOBACCO INDUSTRY

Author: Larry Breed

THE HISTORICAL ANSWER:

Why has availability and use of tobacco continued in spite the medical evidence that it is a health risk?

First, people love to smoke tobacco. It is very possible that much of this is due to the stimulant received, the intoxication and the addictive property of nicotine.

Second, smoking was in-style and fashionable at several periods in time. Smoking can be termed and defined as "cool", etc.

Third, in the past many people believed that smoking could protect them from illness. This is in combination with the idea that smoking was at least not harmful.

Finally, a nation can become 'addicted' to the revenues produced by taxes placed upon tobacco products. As noted by this quote: "As an instrument of financial policy tobacco is unique. It is not clear why this should be, but the tradition is now well established. In fact tobacco has two distinct functions, one as a consumable article and the other as a revenue earner, which at times appears to secure conflicting official treatment" (Akehurst, 1981, p15).

This paper moves beyond the history of tobacco for information and turns to the words and actions of members of the industry from speeches, booklets and handouts, the trade press and the like.

The tobacco companies have fought the opinion, data, and the interpretation of the data relating to health. They have established a set of strategies and arguments to counter the news from the medical community. How have they reacted? How have the y spent their money to continue their industry? This becomes the issue to investigate.

THE TOBACCO INDUSTRY STRATEGIES

1: SOCIAL ENVIRONMENTAL FACTOR

The current anti-tobacco era began with medical and scientific research linking tobacco use to a variety of health problems. The first action of the industry was to dispute the research findings. This was done, and continues to be carried out, in a number of ways.

WE ARE CAUTIOUS

The image conveyed is that industry leaders are concerned professionals cautiously studying the issues. They will not let hysteria or public opinion sway or cloud their judgement. "We also believe that until scientific research can establish what actually causes the diseases with which smoking has been statistically associated, it would be unfair to advocate any law prohibiting the sale of cigarettes" (RJ Reynolds, 1987). Until these executives receive proof of the ill effects of their product they will continue as before. It is never stated, but the indications are that they operate from a classic American jurisprudence idea of 'innocent until proven guilty' view.

In spite of this open position we do see the industry avoiding some of the health issues. For example, "Tobacco Abstracts" a trade publication which offers relevant citations and abstracts to world literature on nicotiana dropped the section titled "Health" beginning with the October 1967 issue. The announcement was as follows: "(NOTE: Health section will be omitted from now on.)" No further information was offered.

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PROOF NEEDED

The caution shown by industry leaders makes the definition of the word "proof" crucially important. 'Proof' is the only valid basis of decision making accepted by these industry leaders. "Scientists have not proven that cigarette smoke or any of the thousands of its constituents as found in cigarette smoke cause human disease" (Tobacco Institute, 1979, p2).

Causal relationships do no more than give credence to one of several possible theories. "A hypothesis concerning the cause of disease remains merely a hypothesis until and unless conclusive laboratory and clinical proof can be found. The burden of proof must rest with those who advance the hypothesis" (Tobacco Industry, 1978, p14).

I wrote the leaders of the industry asking for a definition of proof. I was eventually told to consult a dictionary. If this is the definition that is used by the industry this is critical information since it runs in conflict with the very clear and specific definition created and defined by the authors of the 1964 Report to the Surgeon General -- and still used.

Based upon the apparent definition of cause or proof none of the 40,000 or so research studies on the tobacco and ill health link live up to the stringent requirements of industry leaders.

Statistical results are ignored as being mere numbers. They hold the position that statistics 'prove' nothing. "Smoking is a leading cause of statistics," claim those in the industry (Blair, 1979, p32). However, when it suits the argument the industry will turn to statistics.

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SPONSORED MEDICAL RESEARCH

The tobacco industries have offered millions of dollars to research personnel exploring various issues. The specified range of topics for these studies is interesting: genetic differences between smokers and non-smokers, personality traits of smoker s, immunologic factor in cancer, general studies on heart diseases, lung defense mechanisms and on smoking and other behavioral factors in heart diseases (Tobacco Institute, 1986). This list of topics is vague and incomplete, but does illustrate several foci of their interest. Look to behavioral factors other than tobacco use, personality traits, genetics and the immune system of an individual. Much of this, as we shall see later aims to blame the victim of illness for their own illness. One such conclusion would be: tobacco is not the problem, it is the weak immune system of certain individuals. Much of this research could lead to conclusions removing tobacco from the focus of public and legislative activity.

The industry is conducting research, yes, but it is not examining the same topics as those sponsored by the government or health groups.

The American Journal of Public Health, and others, reported upon this slant.........

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THE SELECTIVE QUOTE:

Repeatedly, we have observed the tobacco industry using a specific statement decades old. Newer and better data are not cited. For example, in response to a 1978 statement that cigarette use was an addiction, the industry turned to the 1964 report to the Surgeon General which defined tobacco use as a habit (Tobacco Institute, Dec 1978, p13).

Repeatedly, they quote from the Foreword to the 1964 report to the Surgeon General, "The interrelationships of smoking and health undoubtedly are complex. The subject does not lend itself to easy answers. Nevertheless, it has been increasingly apparent that answers must be found" (i.e. Tobacco Institute, 10 Jan 1979, p2). Ignored is the fact that the 1964 report does find the complex answers and that further research strengthens the finding from 1964.

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1B: WE HELP THE SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT

As well as countering the negative reports, the tobacco industry has acted to present the positive issues -- the benefits offered by the industry to the social and cultural environment. Tobacco is presented as a good force in the environment.

JOBS AND TAXES

In the handouts, the members of the tobacco industry will remind legislators and the public how much money is raised by taxing the product, how many jobs are held by those in the tobacco industry, and the 'trickle down' effect of taxes and jobs. They state that 414,000 jobs are directly linked to tobacco industry, another 296,000 jobs derive from allied industries (the distributors, etc.), with these individuals spending their income to support another 1.6 million U.S. workers (Tobacco Institute, no date, pp18-19). Roughly ten billion dollars are annually raised in direct federal, state and local tax dollars.

The Tobacco Institute releases information on its impact on certain states, not simply the nation as a whole. There are pamphlets for non-tobacco states, such as California. "The state ranks first in tobacco retail and vending employment, third in jobs in tobacco intermediate distribution and fourth in supplier industry employment" (Tobacco Institute, no date).

In summary, they refer to the benefits to economic health, but ignore the cost of illness.

An article from "World Tobacco" indicated the dual role of taxes from the industry perspective. At a time when Congress was considering raising the cigarette tax rate it was noted that "the federal government may develop an appetite for cigarette tax revenue" (World Tobacco, March 1985). This was possibly written to indicate that such a tax increase might actually aid the chances of long term survival of the industry. Becoming a dependable tax source for the nation could shield an industry from interference. As we saw, even though King James I was a foe of tobacco, he appreciated it as a source of tax income.

Despite this possible shielding effect provided by taxes we also see complaints about taxes, mostly printed in the public handouts. The main claim is that smokers are a double taxed minority. The Chairman of the Tobacco Institute has stated that smokers pay ten billion dollars a year more in taxes than the non-smoker (Kornegay, 1984).

The President of the Tobacco Institute once wrote: "Today the United States is doing its level best to preserve a healthy national economy as the only means, under our free system, of supporting the tremendous demands of national defense in this age of peril. It is democracy's answer to communism. One of the foundation stones of that economy is tobacco" (Richards, 1959, p1).

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SPONSORSHIP

Within the trade press are listed other contributions of the industry to the nation: support of the arts, music and sporting events. The 1981 Philip Morris Annual Report states (p7) "We see the arts as a major contributor not only to cultural and social well being, but to the progress of our business as well."

An increased percentage of the marketing budget of the tobacco companies is turning to sponsorship. The promotion frequently involves gifts of money to various associations and activities. These include sponsorship of art exhibits, sporting events, fine music, as well as rock music concerts. This offers the possibility of gaining an "aura of legitimacy and wholesomeness" (Warner et al, 1986, p369).

The content analysis uncovered a dramatic rise in the number of paragraphs devoted to sponsorship benefits. There were only two mentions of sponsorship in the 1960s. By the time of the 1980 sample, this had increased to 35 paragraphs devoted to sponsorship.

Once again, the negative costs of the use of tobacco are not mentioned by industry spokesmen.

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IT WOULD BE USEFUL TO KEEP TABS ON THOSE ORGANIZATIONS OFFERED AND RECEIVING TOBACCO FUNDS.

1c: WE ARE HEAVILY INVOLVED IN THE ENVIRONMENT

The industry acts behind the scenes. This goes beyond the politicking, and lobbying efforts. It covers direct work with media representatives.

POLITICS

Tobacco interests have backed a concerted effort to halt certain state and federal legislative actions. We can remember how the Tobacco Trust attempted to buy legislative votes in the 1890s and early 1900s. Senator Edward Kennedy has called the tobacco industry "probably the most effective lobby on Capital Hill" (in Blair, 1979, p6). The tobacco industries give money to help elect representatives favorable to their positions. Senator Jesse Helms (R, N.C.), Chairman of the Agricultural Committee, is the best known. In California former Assembly Leader Willie Brown, now San Francisco mayor, received more funds than any other USA legislator!

Their efforts have gone so far as to include illegal contributions. "In May 1976 three directors of RJ Reynolds resigned when it was disclosed the company had illegally funneled $65,000 to $90,000 in corporate funds to domestic political campaigns" (Markle & Troyer, 1979, p614).

"Tobacco International" printed a short news item entitled "5 was an important but costly victory". It listed the sums of money each of five tobacco producers gave to defeat California State Proposition 5 in 1978. Ninety seven percent of the $5.6 million dollars was contributed by the tobacco companies ("Tobacco International", 22 Dec 1978, p71). This sum far outweighed the money raised to support the proposition.

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ADVERTISING AND MARKETING

An internal document from the marketing division of one tobacco corporation states: "Doubt is our product since it is the best means of competing with the 'body of fact' that exists in the mind of the general public. It is also the means of establishing a controversy" (Myers et al, 1981). The $2 billion annual marketing budget of the industry is the main resource used to create this controversy.

The tobacco industry has two forms of marketing: advertising and promotion. Both will be examined.

The FTC has stated that one of the purposes of tobacco advertising is to undermine the health warnings (Garner, 1986, p425). There have been consistent findings that the American public does not know the full extent of the health danger derived from smoking cigarettes. Half of the people in a survey did not think that smoking affected life expectancy (Weis & Burke, 1986, p64). The advertisements and handouts may be aimed at confusing the public. "Not only are most cigarette advertisements filled with this rich, thematic imagery, many may even more strongly divert or distract attention away from the health consequences of smoking by portraying smoking as compatible with or, at least, as associated with a wide range of rigorous athletic or other strenuous activities. It is possible that these ads make it more difficult for the health warning to be effective and may further increase the possibility of deception" (Myers et al, 1981, p2).

Cigarettes are the most heavily promoted consumer product in this country. The large advertising budget received from the industry inspires magazines and newspapers to rarely act contrary to the wishes, or best interests, of one of their chief financial supports. A magazine or newspaper with many pages of tobacco advertisements will tend to run few articles on the tobacco and health issue. One study illustrates this. Only eight feature articles on the tobacco-health link were published over an eight year period in ten magazines that accepted cigarette ads. "Good Housekeeping", which does not accept cigarette advertising, printed eleven articles during that same time (Whelan et al, 1981).

A magazine that prints anti-tobacco articles may lose tobacco advertising. It may even lose advertising from non-tobacco products owned by the tobacco companies (Warner et al, 1986, p376). The "Saturday Evening Post", was threatened with a partial advertising boycott by non-tobacco divisions of tobacco companies in response to the Post's decision to stop printing cigarette advertisements ("Smoking and Health Reporter", 1985, p3).

Furthermore, advertisements for smoking cessation clinics have been rejected by magazines which also run tobacco advertisements (Warner et al, 1986, p375).

Magazines attempt to gain even more cigarette advertisements. "Time", "People", and "Esquire" have placed advertisements in the "US Tobacco and Candy Journal" promoting their readership. "People" suggests, "Light up your sales with the people generation". "Time" boasts that its readers are young (median age 36.5), and of the large number of women readers (10 million); both attractive targets for the tobacco industry.

A pilot examination of the content of cigarette advertisements leads me to one possible new pattern of these advertisements. Some current cigarette advertisements show pictures of people isolated and alone, far from society, uninvolved in the social world. Advertisements show a couple on a boat far from shore; a single man climbing a mountain; a couple in a house; and of course, the cowboy riding across the plains. This is different from what I have seen of older advertisements. In pre-Surgeon General era advertisements we see more actors, sports heroes, doctors, people in restaurants, couples on the way to the theater, and the like. Smokers in these current advertisements are retreating to private locations for tobacco consumption.

The second form of marketing spending is in promotions, including sponsorships. An increased percentage of the overall marketing budget is turning to these two forms of action. The promotion frequently involves gifts of money to various associations and activities. These include sponsorship of art exhibits, sporting events, fine music, as well as rock music concerts. This offers the possibility of gaining an "aura of legitimacy and wholesomeness" (Warner et al, 1986, p369).The content analysis of tobacco industry press uncovered a dramatic rise in the number of paragraphs devoted to the benefits of sponsorship. There were only two mentions of sponsorship in the 1960s. By the time of the 1980 sample, this had increased to 35 paragraphs devoted to sponsorship.

Additionally, the members of the tobacco industries will work to get their product into movies. The most frequently mentioned example in the anti- tobacco literature is the twenty-four mentions of Marlboro in the movie Superman II. The benefit here is one of gaining advertising without officially advertising. A cigarette company cannot buy commercial time on television, but Superman II can air on prime-time with images of Marlboro cigarettes in numerous scenes.

Despite the industry's contention that they sell a legal product, they in fact sell a conditionally legal product. The condition is that they not sell to minors. The advertising code of the tobacco industry states that they will not advertise in school and college publications or on campuses, require that all models must be and appear to be over 25 years of age, and will "not present smoking as a pastime which leads to success, sexual attractiveness or prominence" (Tobacco Institute, 1986, p1). Despite this an advertising agent has stated that his job was to create advertisements aimed at youth. "The entry age for smokers, I recall, is 14. When I worked for Advertising, we were trying very hard to influence kids who were 14 to start to smoke. I t was really difficult for me to work on those ads" ("An adman's confession", 1983, p237). This statement runs contrary to the tobacco industry's policy on advertising.

Observers have noted cigarette promoters who stand on crowded streets giving away small cigarette packs. Anyone can, and does, receive these free cigarette packs if requested; even minors (Tye, 1987, p11).

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TECHNOLOGICAL RESPONSE:

The report to the Surgeon General of 1964 was based solely on studies of non-filtered cigarettes. An early reaction to the report by the industry was to change the product. Either cut down the tars from the cigarette with improved filters, or switch the user to other tobacco product such as cigars, cigarillos, or a pipe.

The creation of new filtered cigarette brands were seen by the industry as the optimal solution. In the rushed attempt to find newer and better filters the industry even utilized asbestos in the Kent micronite filter. Additionally, it seems that some of the flavoring additives currently placed in low tar cigarettes may be harmful. This problem is difficult to study since the ingredients of cigarettes are trade secrets (Mintz, 1983, p54).

Based on the filter concept, or filter defense, the tobacco companies have sold millions of cigarettes which are considered "safer". Left unsaid in the advertisements is how much safer. There is some evidence that even switching to lower tar or nicotine brands does not offer much in the way of decreased health risk (Marion & Fortmann, 1987, p546). The introduction of these products offered a way to at least lower the fear of many smokers.

The industry discovered unanticipated benefits to the use of filters. They made cigarettes somewhat more appealing to women since unsightly tobacco leaf would not stick to their lips. The filter also makes the taste milder and hence easier for the initiate to consume. The first hot burning sensation has decreased, making it easier to begin the habit. Furthermore, studies show that cigarette smokers are now consuming more of their favorite brand, partially in order to maintain the level of nicotine in their body.

My content analysis of the trade journal shows that in the 1960s the industry's search for a technological solution is clearly evident: 50 paragraphs of material spread across five different categories of potential solution. The search centered on filtered cigarettes, non-cigarette products, and the hunt for new consumers. In the 1980s there were only 18 counts in three categories, indicating the industry's belief that some answer had been found.

In a 1968 edition of the trade journal I found a short paragraph mentioning that 'Bravo', the attempt to create a non-tobacco based (lettuce based) cigarette, failed (World Tobacco, 1968, p1). That technological solution also was attempted, but was not effective.

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THE USE OF WORDS:

There is an attempt to win a victory of the perception of the issue, to shape the social environment to their perception. Words can color the issue. Whether the tobacco and ill health issue is a 'debate' or a 'settled issue' makes a difference to t he perception of the issue.

In 1969 two tobacco companies removed the word "tobacco" from their corporate name. American Tobacco and RJ Reynolds Tobacco dropped the word because it was an "emotional term". There was no mention of why or in what way it is emotional. The reader is left to guess at the meaning.

Related to that, is the idea of 'renting names' which was suggested in 1982 within "World Tobacco". For example, Harrod's department store put its corporate name on a cigarette. The general acceptance of this idea "was slow largely because owners of good names were nervous about negative feedback"; but the type and source of such feedback is not mentioned in this article.

I was interested to read the descriptive names and phrases used to describe those involved in the anti-tobacco movement. They are "zealots," "anti-smoking agitators," "health campaigners," "tobacco prohibitionists," "overzealous do-gooders," and "busybodies". The work of these people is described as: "the enemies of tobacco are still plotting," and "the insidious skill of the anti-tobacco trade."

How do they refer to low tar and nicotine? It is now known as "low delivery". This is made clear only in context, for low delivery could have numerous meanings.

The results of the content analysis indicate that the 'enemy' of the industry clearly changed. The Surgeon General was the target in three-quarters of the paragraphs in the 1960s to zero mentions in the 1980s. The enemy has diversified.

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2. LIFESTYLE

2a: BLAME THE VICTIM:

PEOPLE SHOULD SMOKE LESS

I spoke to a long-time friend presently working for RJ Reynolds, about tobacco. It was his belief that the whole health problem would end if people would only restrict themselves to smoking four or five cigarettes a day. Under questioning, he realized this to be a weak argument. He too, was once a pack a day smoker. He quit smoking, but only with great difficulty. Once again, the whole of the problem and the brunt of the solution are placed with the individual.

YOU WERE NOTIFIED

A few tobacco users, or former tobacco users, are suing the industry for knowingly selling a harmful product. The industry creates a defense based on the government required warning labels, saying in effect, we notified you of the hazard. They recently used such a defense in court, and won.

The tobacco industry claims it should not be held liable for damages from smokers because everyone should know the facts of smoking and the possibility that they are a health problem. After all, each package of cigarettes and each advertisement carries a warning label. "Now (tobacco) manufacturers win lawsuits by claiming these hazards have always been known -- even though they still deny hazards exist -- and it's the victim's fault if he or she chooses to smoke anyway and contracts cancer" (Garner, in Gidmark & Nichols, 1986, p25).

The huge advertising budget of the industry is seen as an attempt to undermine the health warnings. While they do comply with the minimum standards of the law, they create advertising images to undo the warnings.

The advertising and promotions ignore the fact that tobacco use is addictive, and that their whole advertising campaign is partially aimed to discredit any health warning (Mayers et al, 1981). They also ignore that many people began to smoke before warning labels were required. The industry focuses on individual culpability, as if to say, "if you smoke you did so of your own free will, if you get sick we tried to warn you".

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FIRES

The cigarette manufacturing process includes adding a chemical additive to make the cigarette burn even if not inhaled; this is the property that allows it to continue to burn even if dropped on a bed or sofa. The industry claims that fires caused by burning cigarettes are due to the "carelessness" of the smoker. Thousands of people die needlessly each year due to fires involving cigarettes. One-third of residential fires are caused by cigarettes. The cigarette industry sees this as an individual problem -- a person is "careless". Once again the members of the tobacco industry step away from the issue. In the Tobacco Institute list of the 'most often asked questions about cigarettes', even the phrasing of a question offered the answer. "Can cigarettes be altered to make them fire safe, even in the hands of careless people?" The answer continues this theme, "The ultimate solution - with or without new technology - is consumer care" (Tobacco Institute, no date, p8).

A telling example is found in an article published in "Fire Chief" journal. The article is based on the author's travel through Europe hunting for the reasons there is less fire damage in Europe than in America. Mentioned first is that lax American child raising practices help promote fires since our children are not well versed in fire safety. Then the American problem is defined as carelessness. In the list of careless activities is smoking while in bed. This is the only mention of cigarettes in a three page article on fire prevention. It is interesting to note that the research was funded by the Tobacco Institute, the lobby organization for the tobacco manufacturers.

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POLITENESS AND COURTESY:

The industry suggests the solution to the whole tobacco problem could be through politeness. The issue is not health, it is the smoker's right to smoke. One of the RJ Reynolds 'open debate' advertisements offers the solution to smoking in public: greater courtesy. "We think we should start not by raising barriers, but by lowering our voices. We think smokers and non-smokers can work out their differences together, in a spirit of tolerance and fairness and respect for each other's rights and feelings" (RJ Reynolds, 1986).

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CANCERPHOBIA:

The industry suggests "cancerophobia" is at the root of much of the problem. Essentially, they are claiming that the problem does not exist -- except in the minds of a few people. In this defense it is claimed that people who fear cancer are turning to a quick and simple answer to explain why some get cancer and others do not. These cancerphobics have accepted the tobacco theory. In a comment following the 1964 report to the Surgeon General is a two page article giving a review of reactions from around the world. The article concludes with this: "Perhaps the last word should be left to the doughtiest unbeliever of all. In Western Germany, the secretary general of the International Association for Scientific Tobacco Research, Dr. H. Aschenbrenner suggests that before reports on smoking and health are taken seriously, those making the reports should have psychiatric certification that they are not suffering from pyrophobia (fear of fire). Twenty-five years' research by his organization, says Dr. Aschenbrenner, have proven that tobacco antagonism often springs from a morbid (and often unconscious) pyrophobia -- a phenomenon whose many manifestations include suppressed fear of the 'big fire' or atom bomb" ("World Tobacco", 1964, p20).

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FAMOUS USERS AND A FEW OLD PEOPLE:

At times the industry seems to be evoking the power and prestige of famous smokers. Perhaps they cite the list of those who smoke as evidence of the tradition and joy of tobacco consumption. Winston Churchill smoking his daily cigars and living to the age of ninety-one is one of the images cultivated, and used as reminders of the glories and safety of tobacco.

They do not list those who have quit smoking, nor those smokers who have died from diseases known to be related to tobacco use.

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2B: INDIVIDUAL FREEDOMS

TRAMPLED FREEDOM

The tobacco journal and industry handouts mention the loss of freedom, the loss civil rights, and the withering away of an old American tradition; "America's cigarette smokers are living under conditions -- actual and potential - - that are unacceptable to any other people in our nation. In fact, they live under conditions of restriction, taxation, segregation, and prohibition that would be illegal for any other class of citizens" (Kornegay, 1984, p48).

This same article quickly displays SELF interest. If the Civil Aeronautics Board were to approve a total ban on smoking while aboard airplanes "the result would be an annual loss of just over ten million packs of cigarettes, or nearly $10 million at today's prices" (Kornegay, 1984, p49). While the industry does profess to be worried about the erosion of personal freedoms, these freedoms seem to be connected to corporate profits.

Labor and management have banded together under the organizational title of The Tobacco Industry Labor/Management Committee to promote jobs and their conception of liberty. Their defense is simple. "What everyone doesn't know... and should... is that attacks on the tobacco industry threaten the livelihoods of thousands of working Americans who have marched, worked, and struggled for causes we all believe in" (triple dots in original). But once again, we see those within the tobacco industry ignoring health issues.

W.A. Adams Company Inc (tobacco processors and exporters) and the Tobacco Growers Association of North Carolina, Inc are promoting the message that "Tobacco's message is free choice." This is being done "to offset the widespread campaign to treat smoking as a crime instead of a custom". They offer stickers with this logo, "My pleasure my choice".

The Carolina Leaf Tobacco Company, Inc posts this notice in the trade press, "Warning: this sign may be hazardous to your rights" above the picture of a 'no smoking' sign.

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CIVIL RIGHTS

Civil rights and racial discrimination arguments are invoked. A bill before the New York City Council was to ban indoor smoking in restaurants and open areas of government and private businesses. Opposing this bill was a representative of the Tobacco Institute whose argument was as follows. "(T)he office provision is discriminatory because clerical-type jobs are held largely by minorities. They correctly note that white male executives can puff away in their private offices but the black clerical staff, being in the open areas covered by the smoking ban, must put out their cigarettes. Therefore, the 'rights' of blacks are being disproportionately affected" (Milligan, 1987, p39).

Where previously the industry spokesmen mentioned economic benefits and ignored the health dis-benefits, now they seek to mention what they view as discriminatory smoking regulatory practices.

MORE QUOTES AND EXAMPLES NEEDED .

THE ADDICTION ISSUE:

The addiction issue is critical. The image fostered by those in the industry is that tobacco users are individuals adopting and maintaining a pleasurable and harmless past-time. The freedom and civil rights arguments of those in the industry weaken if one realizes that tobacco is an addictive substance, and that the smoker is often smoking for the nicotine rush which the body has developed a craving.

A tobacco specialist, writing a book on tobacco made it clear that it is "a habit-forming narcotic" (Akehurst, 1970, p21). In my content analysis I found no mention of a smoker defined as addicted to nicotine. Rather than labeling the smoker an addict the industry uses such phrases as "the compulsive smoker" or "the confirmed smoker" ("World Tobacco", 1964, p23). There was one mention that the industry should consider "counseling moderation" in consumption ("World Tobacco", 1984, p33).

As stated earlier in this paper the tobacco industry will attempt to negate a 1978 statement that tobacco is addictive with a quote from 1964.

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3. GENETICS

This topic has been covered briefly elsewhere. The industry is spending money to test the hypothesis that cancer is primarily a genetic issue. Once again we see the attempt to create distance between the tobacco products and any health problem. Despite all these dollars given to medical research I found no mention of any genetic research results in any of my readings

MORE QUOTES AND EXAMPLES NEEDED .

4. MEDICAL CARE SYSTEM

The tobacco issue rarely enters the area of the medical care system. Neither side points the accusing finger at the physicians nor hospitals for the problems attributed to tobacco products.

CONCLUSION

Yet the members of the industry would agree that there is a problem. But it is not the one we began this paper with -- for the members of the tobacco industry it is convincing the world that there is nothing to worry about, that the research is incomplete and that there is no proof that tobacco products cause any harm. Perhaps this was summarized by a tobacco union official who stated that smoking is sometimes a nuisance, "but a nuisance is not a health hazard" ("Anti- smoking", 1984).