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ABOUT PHILIPPE BOUCHER'S RENDEZ-VOUS
Rendez-vous is a cyber-interview of people in tobacco control, where the guest answers via email 5 questions, plus a self-introduction and eventually a 6th open question for anything he/she wants to add.
- 37,268 bytes. Philippe Boucher
Rendez-vous with . . . Jim Bergman, Co-Director of The Center for Social Gerontology
In 1992, I made a rather significant career change when I accepted the position as the first Executive Director of STAT (Stop Teenage Addiction to Tobacco), a national advocacy organization based in Springfield, Massachusetts. . . When I returned to the aging field, I couldn't leave behind my interest in tobacco control issues. I immediately asked what was going on in the area of tobacco and older persons; the answer, I discovered, was that virtually nothing was being done. Yet, it was older persons who were dying and suffering the debilitating diseases caused by tobacco use. Starting in 1995, we at TCSG began a determined effort to change this, including starting the National Center for Tobacco-Free Older Persons, creating a comprehensive web site on this topic at http://www.tcsg.org/tobacco.htm, and operating the Smoke-Free Environments Law Project (SFELP) in Michigan, which serves persons of all ages, but focuses special attention on secondhand smoke issues facing older persons.
- 12,925 bytes. Philippe Boucher
Rendez-vous with . . . Guillermo Martinez Gallon
Coordinator of the Educational programs for the League against Cancer in Colombia . . . I am in charge of teaching the volunteers and the young people about tobacco issues and cancer prevention. We develop education campaigns and materials for the schools. . . . the national corporation holds 55% of the market and the foreign companies (mostly BAT and Philip Morris) hold 45%. There is a lot of advertising and it is getting bigger with more promotions. The prices are very low: . . A law was passed in 1986 prohibiting the sales of cigarettes to minors but it is not enforced. Most of the cigarettes are sold by children! . . Kids are starting to smoke at a younger age (11), girls now smoke more than boys but the media are not interested. . . We have very little money for media campaigns and the same goes for the Health Department. . . We hope to receive more support from abroad, especially from the US to fight against Big Tobacco, against the multinationals and their globalization strategy.
- 3,063 bytes. Philippe Boucher
Rendez-vous with . . . Judith Mackay about the Tobacco Atlas
My name is Judith Longstaff Mackay. I have lived in Hong Kong since 1967, initially working as a hospital physician, then since 1984 concentrating on tobacco control. I am currently the Director of the Asian Consultancy on Tobacco Control, and Senior Policy Advisor to World Health Organisation on tobacco issues. . . it puts more than 20,000 statistics into lively and colourful graphics and maps, that I truly believe will reach a far greater number of people than those who would traditionally trawl through data tables or text.
- 6,792 bytes. 2002-12-20 Philippe Boucher
Rendez-vous with . . . Angela Pinoargote, about tobacco control in Ecuador
I work mostly with kids in schools in the Province of Manabi. We have just started a new campaign on the theme "Instead of smoking, feel yourself at life". . . A tobacco control Act was passed by Congress in 1998 but there is no enforcement. The government is too concerned about collecting tobacco taxes to enforce the law and about 6,000 people work for the tobacco companies. . . There is one national corporation but Philip Morris holds 80% of the market: they bought out local companies. They are also involved in growing tobacco and this development is detrimental because farmers will grow tobacco instead of food crops.
- 2,212 bytes. Philippe Boucher
Rendez-vous with . . . Philippe Boucher, about the book 'People and Issues in Tobacco Control: 124 cyber-interviews'
I started Rendez-vous in January 1999 with the support of UICC's Globalink because I thought cyber-interviews of tobacco control advocates would be interesting for the tobacco control community. I liked the concept of short interviews (6 questions and a self-introduction) that would -eventually- allow guests to expand about their personal stories, their personal interests. I hoped they would tell us more than what we could get from the mainstream media. I certainly did not plan at that time to ever pass the 100th mark but when I approached it I felt that collecting the rendez-vous and publishing them in a paper based book format would be a good idea. . . Thanks to the internet and a system called PayPal it is possible to order the book by sending me an email and paying me via this system that accepts credit cards while charging me a reasonable fee (3,4% for order within the US and 4,4% for orders outside the US). The book should also be soon registered on Amazon.com
- 9,825 bytes. Philippe Boucher
Rendez-vous with . . . Phillip Karugaba, Spokeperson for TEAN, The Environmental Action Network
I am the spokeperson for TEAN, The Environmental Action Network, a public interest group that was created in 2000 in Kampala. I am an attorney with an independent practice and a law professor at Makerere University in Kampala. TEAN uses media advocacy, public awareness and litigation to promote a clean and healthy environment. . . Q3. What about the lawsuit concerning ETS and smokefree public places? Philiip Karugaba: We filed it on May 31 2001 since the theme for the World No Tobacco Day that year was about ETS and smokefree public places. We asked the court to declare that ETS in pubic places was a violation of the right -protected by the Constitution- to live in a clean and healthy environment. We are still in court. The case was filed against the Government, the Attorney General and the Environmental Protection Agency. . . From the start the industry has tried to influence me: they have asked old friends of mine to contact me as go between toward a meeting: I have constantly refused and lost a few friends. BAT is a very powerful company in Uganda: they are the second-largest taxpayer . . . the tobacco industry remains very powerful with huge investments in the points of sale promotions that more than offset abandoning billboards advertising. Those promotions are certainly more effective. How to resist huge street concerts, beautiful young women lighting up cigarettes for you, distributing free items with each pack you buy. There is little organized support outside of TEAN. The Uganda Medical Association supports us
- 8,965 bytes. 2002-12-06 Philippe Boucher
Rendez-vous with . . . Mike Moore, Attorney General for the state of Mississipi
I have spent 25 years in the public service, 15 years as Attorney General for the state of Mississipi. . . You filed the initial lawsuit against Big Tobacco in 1994. How much of your time do you still devote to tobacco control? I have visited 33 states to spread the message, talking to legislators, public officials, doctors . . . It has been very frustrating and hurtful. You fight a huge case and you think you win. The proceeds of the victory are supposed to be spent on tobacco related diseases. . . I don't want the folks to lose hope. There was a huge expectation. Don't give up. This is an ongoing battle. Make it real, make it immediate, you can do something today. This is not a sprint, this is a marathon.
- 5,311 bytes. 2002-11-30 Philippe Boucher
Rendez-vous with . . . Eze Eluchie about tobacco control in Nigeria
Eze Eluchie: I am an attorney at law in Lagos, Nigeria. . . That's when we created PADDING (People Against Drug Dependence and Ignorance). . . We try to develop public awareness via interventions in schools. We insist on the importance of tobacco as a gateway drug. That approach did not please the industry, very powerful in Nigeria. . . That's why we pushed for a new comprehensive bill. We succeeded in having the House of Representatives pass the bill we had prepared but when it went to the Senate, it disappeared! The 7 committee members in charge of the bill in the Senate were invited by BAT (the main player in Nigeria) to visit England and the USA. All expenses paid. . . After this trip the bill was not to be seen again nor were we able to get a meeting with the senators. . . The mainstream media accept a lot of advertisng from the tobacco industry . . . Of course billboards are everywhere and cigarettes are very cheap, sold by the stick. One of BAT's most recent and successful promotion is named Experience Hollywood: they organize film showings and with your ticket you are given a pack of cigarettes. . . Attending the conference here brings me hope: we exchange informations with our friends in San Francisco and that is very valuable. We have started bulding a network with neighboring countries like Ghana, Zambia, whose legal system is very similar to ours.
- 5,098 bytes. Philippe Boucher
Rendez-vous with . . . Philippe Boucher about the Tobacco Control Directory.
In November 2001 I wrote to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation my conclusions and recommendations concerning the one year contract I had been awarded to write cyber-interviews and study tobacco control websites. I suggested it would be useful for the tobacco control community to have an on line directory where people and organizations active in the field would be listed so that one could easily figure out who is who and how to get in touch. . . I thought it would be useful to have something more direct, more specialized and selective to serve the tobacco control community. . . If lots of people register and accept to share info about what they are doing there will be plenty to learn from. . . I have listed almost 3000 individuals. . . My first goal is for the Tobacco Control Directory to provide the most basic information about the most of people and groups. Their name, electronic address, a simple description of what they are doing and whatever detailed information they want to share. . . Come and visit www.tcdirecty.org
- 5,624 bytes. Philippe Boucher
Rendez-vous with . . . Eric Helmuth, Editorial Director of Join Together Online Boston University School of Public Health Boston, Massachusetts
Join Together is a national resource center based at the Boston University School of Public Health; we're funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to support community-based efforts to reduce, prevent, and treat substance abuse across the nation. We don't focus exclusively on tobacco issues -- we also address excessive alcohol, illegal drugs and gun violence -- but most of those in our audience include tobacco in the range of work they do. Many work in tobacco control full-time. . . By the way, there is another significant chapter in my and Join Together's experience with tobacco control and cessation. QuitNet (www.quitnet.com), which has now spun off as a successful company providing online cessation services, began as a Join Together project, and I was involved in daily content and community management for several years. That work has had a lot to do with our commitment to continuing our tobacco news coverage. My specific role at Join Together is to oversee content development and management for our website and e-mail news service.
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Philippe Boucher's Rendez-vous
A listing of Philippe's Inverviews with the major figures in tobacco control.
- 32,973 bytes. Philippe Boucher
Rendez-vous with . . . Christie Garbe, Chief Executive Officer, American Lung Association of Alaska
My name is Christie Garbe and I have served as the CEO of the American Lung Association of Alaska (ALAA) since 1997. . . . Mike started smoking during high school and grew up with a mother and father who smoked. He was diagnosed with lung cancer at age 36. . . . They agreed and first created a short video that we used at a breakfast in November of 2001. Mike's story was illuminated in detail and he and Sandy spoke in person to 300 people. . . We had kept in contact with Mike and Sandy on a regular basis and during this time our organization was responsible for implementation of the statewide tobacco countermarketing campaign. Alaska's tobacco countermarketing campaign began in January of 2000 and was modeled on the same principles successfully used by California and Massachusetts. . . We have three primary themes--Dangers of Second-hand smoke, Prompting Cessation attempts amongst adult smokers and Youth Prevention messages primarily utilizing TV and radio mediums. . . Tobacco control partners in Alaska were astonished at these large shifts and so was our survey administrator. We hypothesize that the combined efforts of policy changes (such as an increasing number of Clean Indoor Air Ordinances), community based tobacco control program and the availability of the quitline have all combined to do just what a comprehensive program does-reduce tobacco use. . . . The "Quitline" in Alaska is also funded by settlement dollars and is run through Providence Health System Alaska. . . . I can tell you that the people of Alaska have been deeply touched by the Sams' sharing of their experiences and we are all better people because of their courageous willingness to talk about the consequences of tobacco addiction. And to all of you who are working as hard as we are on tobacco control. Keep up the good fight!
- 10,136 bytes. Philippe Boucher
Rendez-vous with . . . Steven Schroeder, Past President of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Steven Schroeder: I am a physician with training in internal medicine and public health and with a long interest in health policy. For most of my professional life I was in academic positions, first at Harvard, then at George Washington, and from 1976-1990 at the University of California, San Francisco. At UCSF, I was professor of medicine and founding chief of its Division of General Internal Medicine. From July 1990 until December 2002 I served as President of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in Princeton, New Jersey. I have now returned to UCSF to direct a new center . . . It is hard to claim that RWJF's efforts in tobacco control crowded out other funders, since there were no private funders before we entered the field. Now ACS and Legacy are major players, and I hope that others will join. It would be a mistake to think of any funder "owning" a field, especially one as important as tobacco control. . . My position at UCSF is as Distinguished Professor of Health and Health Care, as well as Director of a RWJF-supported Smoking Cessation Leadership Center. The Center is premised on the following: of the 46 million smokers in the US; one third will die of smoking if they don't quit; 70% would like to quit yet most cannot; their chances of quitting are increased if they are encouraged by a health professional; yet most health professionals do not help their patients to quit. We will be working with leaders of the health professions to encourage their constituents to do a better job as cessation advocates.
- 7,434 bytes. 2002-02-28 Philippe Boucher
Rendez-vous with . . . Georgina Lovell, about 'You are the Target'
My casual interest in tobacco industry fraud became more structured following Workers Compensation Board hearings in British Columbia where I presented a five-page brief in support of proposed smoke-free workplaces. At these hearings I heard presentations from tobacco front groups and industry spokespeople making the most ridiculous statements, and my interest was irrevocably piqued . . . Tobacco has been the direct cause of suffering and death in my family and my husband's family . . . Project Moving Target has taken on a life of its own! Following the release of You Are The Target, various regional health authorities and school districts invited me to speak to secondary schools about awareness of tobacco trickery. The reaction from teachers, school superintendents and most of all the students was very enthusiastic. The students were shocked to hear about the incriminating information in tobacco documents, and wanted to learn more -- and many expressed interest in taking this new information about tobacco fraud to another level. I worked closely with teachers to compile Project Moving Target, which consists of tobacco documents for review by secondary school students. Project Moving Target provides maximum flexibility for teachers to decide age and ability appropriate material for individual students. The strength of Project Moving Target is the use of actual tobacco documents made available for student review.
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Philippe Boucher's Rendez-vous with . . . Barbara Bruce
. I am the Program Coordinator for the Navajo County Tobacco Education and Prevention Program. As a Certified Cessation Specialist/Instructor/Observer with the program I facilitate adult cessation classes at the County Health Department. Additionally, as Associate Faculty at Northland Pioneer College, I conduct cessation classes at the college, whereby a college credit is given for completion of the class. I also free-lance with Petracom Media ( a Division of ABC News and owner of six local radio stations in our area, 3 A M and 3 FM), producing and directing a weekly local community affairs show . This show is in addition to the tobacco radio talk show I host. . . I smoked for 23 years and after 3 real serious attempts I finally became a nonsmoker. I knew what it was to smoke and what it took to quit - plus, my husband died at 46 because he COULD NOT give up his addiction to tobacco. . . I also wanted a co-host - Windsor, The St. Bernard . . . We agreed on a 3 month trial period on Wednesday nights from 8 to 9 pm. I called the show Rescue 1010 (the phone number to the station ended in 1010), The White Mountains only Radio Talk Show regarding Tobacco. . . We even developed a billboard with the Windsor, our St. Bernard Mascot, sporting a mini oxygen tank strapped under his neck (in place of the popular brandy keg) which read:
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Philippe Boucher's Rendez-vous with . . . Elizabeth Gilpin
My interest in tobacco control dates from my participation in the baseline California Tobacco Survey (CTS) in 1990. In 1996, I was co-principal investigator, and in 1999 and 2002 Principal Investigator for the CTS. . . Tabulating the exposed-in-the-past-2-weeks question according to the type of workplace revealed that in 1999 offices, schools and hospitals had lower rates of exposure than factories, warehouses, or restaurants/bars. A tabulation by demographics in all years showed that males, younger workers, minorities and less educated workers suffered greater exposure. These demographic groups may be more likely to work in workplaces where compliance with AB13 is not as high as it should be. . . I think we are ready for a new round of these ads. The public needs to be made aware of some of the more recently recognized dangers of secondhand smoke to children, such as ear infections, worsening of asthma and the dangers to the fetus. Another theme might be the right of the nonsmoker to breathe clean air at work and in indoor public places. These ads might be tagged with a phone number to call to report violations of AB13. This might be an effective way to address the slight increase in exposure of nonsmoking indoor workers between 1996 and 1999. . . In 1999, 37% of California's nonsmokers reported no recent exposure to secondhand smoke in any setting. Visitors to our state can breathe easy, and likely take home with them a desire for more smoke-free venues in their own states. It is through a desire on the part of the nonsmoking public to protect itself that change will come. Tobacco control programs in other states would do well to foster this desire and emulate the successes achieved in California. Smoke-free workplaces and homes appear to decrease smoking among smokers and prevent relapse in former smokers. So besides protection of nonsmokers, they have important health benefits to smokers as well. Public acceptance of such restrictions signals a higher degree of societal norms against smoking. As smoking becomes less of an acceptable adult activity, adolescents may be less likely to adopt smoking as a way of proclaiming they are grown up.
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Philippe Boucher's Rendez-vous with . . . Joseph DiFranza
I have 70 publications on tobacco over the past 20 years. I did some of the important work regarding Joe Camel. I have been conducting research on youth access for 15 years. I have written papers regarding the impact of ETS on children. For many years, I was focused solely on the advocacy side of tobacco control, but for the past several years I have been deeply involved in the hard science of nicotine addiction. Lately my time has been divided between my youth access work and my new interest in nicotine addiction. . . Traditional definitions of nicotine dependence focused on defining when nicotine dependence becomes a mental disorder. Our interest is in determining when nicotine dependence begins. I use a common sense approach. Dependence begins when a person can no longer freely give up tobacco. I do not think that we have to wait for evidence that tobacco use has caused disruption to a person's social functioning to say they are dependent. I think our traditional definitions of dependence are too strict. I have studied the history of these traditional definitions and have discovered that they are really no more than the product of a committee. They have their uses but they are not based on any
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Philippe Boucher's Rendez-vous with . . .Dick Daynard
I was teaching Consumer Protection law. At least twice as many people were dying each year from cigarettes than from all other consumer products combined (including automobiles and alcohol). Yet cigarettes were neither regulated nor touched by litigation. I had just become President of GASP of Massachusetts (partly as a result of my interest in nonsmokers' rights), and I discussed with my students how I should proceed. We decided that lawsuits had the potential to force the companies to improve their behavior, while raising prices and thereby lowering demand. Basically, the motivation was to do something to reduce the death toll. After 33 years I'm still teaching at Northeastern. . . The Project is designed to encourage lawsuits against tobacco companies as a public health strategy. I founded it (along with a local physician) in 1984, and have chaired it ever since. . . This year's Conference was so well attended and so high energy that we're thinking of trying twice a year. There were 100 participants, mostly lawyers bringing their first few cases against the industry, from around the U.S. and several foreign countries. The program featured the lawyers who have won punitive damage verdicts in Jacksonville, Kansas City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Portland Oregon. There was a lot of discussion of the
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Philippe Boucher's Rendez-vous with . . . Arthur Pitchenik MD
I produced the Video
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Philippe Boucher's Rendez-vous with . . . Lois Biener
our research with representative populations indicates that anti-tobacco ads which evoke high levels of negative emotion are rated as more effective than those which evoke low levels of emotion or evoke positive emotion such as humor or gaiety. Being unable in real life to restrict people's exposure to ads of a specific type makes it difficult to control the approach and compare the ability of differing approaches to produce behavior changes. However, when we asked people who reported quitting smoking in the past two years whether anything they saw on TV played a role in their decision to quit, about one-third of them said yes, and when asked to describe what it was that they had seen, the majority of them described one of the emotional ads portraying the real personal loss due to smoking. . . I think the knowledge of risks is intellectual, theoretical, at best. What advertising can and should do, is make this knowledge personal - but getting people to realize that it could happen to them. The ads that work best are those which elicit an emotional reaction from the viewer -- they arouse a feeling which is a very personal experience. I think that's why they work.
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Philippe Boucher's Rendez-vous with . . . Kymberle K. Landrum, MPH
We are preparing to launch two quit and win contests . . . We will sponsor a Quit & Win contest specifically for selected colleges in our target population. We are also participating in the 2002 International Quit & Win contest. Our principal investigator and program director, Drs. Alfred McAlister and Angela Meshack (respectively) conducted a Quit & Win contest in previous years in Beaumont, TX (one of our target areas). The contest was extremely successful. We decided to conduct the contest as an incentive for college students to quit smoking. . . There are many ways one could organize a quit and win contest. The best way to get ready to organize a quit and win contest is to make sure you have the support of the community where you will sponsor the contest. The college campuses and the surrounding communities are very supportive of our efforts and are helping us advertise for both contests. Many of our community contacts will be distributing flyers and registration forms within their communities to promote the contests. . . Each winner of the college quit and win contest will receive $200. The International Quit & Win contest is giving one $10,000 incentive and six $5,000 regional incentives.
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Philippe Boucher's Rendez-vous with . . . Celia White
The decision to create what would become the LTDL had it roots at the second Tobacco Documents Planning Meeting, held in Minnesota in February 2000. At that meeting, all attendees declared that it should be a central priority to mount all the tobacco documents in one location which would be permanent, stable, have financial and institutional support, and which would offer a unified search interface of all collections. In January 2001, the American Legacy Foundation committed funding to accomplish this goal, and in January 2002, the LTDL went live. We also received support from the Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. . . The site's been up for about a month, and we receive tens of thousands of hits each day . . We also hope that people who'd been frustrated by using other tobacco document sites will visit the Legacy Library ad learn how much easier it is here. . . Remember, this is one of the largest digital libraries in the world.
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Philippe Boucher's Rendez-vous with . . . Louise Labrie
Louise Labrie: The contest targets all smokers but this year we'll focus on the 18-25 year old age group. We know more women register (60%). In 2000, 20,400 smokers registered, 23,250 in 2001 and as for 2002 we have reached 25,000. Each smoker is supported by a non-smoker who also registers. Smokers have to quit (and register) between January 1st and February 28 then stay quit at least for 6 weeks, from March 1st to April 11. . . We have increased the support provided to smokers with a quitline. We send a written confirmation to each participant. A cessation package is distributed via a partnership with a chain of drugstores. Our website offers advice, forums, listserves to receive regular supportive emails, etc. 3,000 participants were surveyed in 2000: 66% had quit for six weeks; 6 months later 36% had remained smoke-free and one year later they were 28%. . . If you want your Quit and Win to succeed your budget has to be adequate, you need strong partnerships (from the media, the private sector and the health community), a competent staff (well versed in promotional techniques and about tobacco issues). You need people in charge of the promotion at the local level in all the places you want to reach.
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Philippe Boucher's Rendez-vous with . . . Andrew Pendleton
Christian Aid's concern in Brazil is that there appears anecdotally to be a high suicide rate in the tobacco growing regions, and the study by Falk et al, cited in our report, provides empirical evidence of this in one such municipality. But it is the manner of the suicides that is also a concern. The events leading up to them, the timing - often around harvest - and the accounts of relatives is most alarming and echoes those of sheep farmers in the UK and gulf war veterans. . . However, in the face of huge global industries, it may be the case that a legally-binding, global framework is needed to force companies to adhere to national regulation. . On almost every tobacco farm visited by Christian Aid during our research for this report, we saw empty containers, often being put to alternative use. For instance, I saw several farmers using pesticide bottles cut in half as scoops to fill back-pack sprayers with water from nearby streams. . . Christian Aid and DESER would like to see a gradual scaling down of the amount of pesticides sold by the industry to farmers, not least because of the enormous cost to the farmer of buying them. . . But we also believe that an independent, epidemiological study of tobacco farmers in Brazil is essential in order to give a clearer indication as to whether the catalogue of illnesses farmers say they suffer from are related to their use of pesticides. . . As regards Nottingham University's International Centre for Corporate Responsibility, which received a grant of almost £4 million from BAT, we have requested that staff there take a look at the report. The new Director of the centre, Jeremy Moon, takes up his post in March 2002 and he already has a copy of Hooked on Tobacco, which he has promised to read and comment on. With globalizations, it is important to look at the conduct of corporations in the round. Many businesses are controversial and tobacco is among them, but when a company such as BAT claims to be a responsible company in a controversial industry, it is important that those claims of responsibility across its business are scrutinized. To fall into the trap of thinking that scrutiny of the tobacco industry is only about scrutiny of smoking and health would be rather naive.
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