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Tobacco Industry Promotes Antismoking Campaigns

Anti-smoking ads that reveal the tobacco industrys deceptive practices have been aggressively quashed through various methods found Temple University Assistant Professor Jennifer K. Ibrahim , co-author of an analysis in the August issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

In the article, Ibrahim tracks the rise and fall of state and national efforts to curb smoking for the past 40 years. She chronicles industry strategies to prevent a campaigns creation, steer messages to smaller audiences, limit the content of the message, limit or eliminate the campaigns funding, and pursue litigation against the campaign.

Ibrahim looks at campaigns in Minnesota, California, Arizona, Oregon, Florida, and a national campaign from the American Legacy Foundation. It tells the story behind the smoke. People often judge these ads and now you know what the tobacco industry was doing trying to undermine them, Ibrahim said.

Research has found ads that reveal the deceptive practices of the tobacco industry are the most effective media campaigns that reduce smoking rates, she said.

For example, one billboard in California read Tobacco is legal, profitable, and kills people featuring an alligator labeled big tobacco with a smirk saying Two out of threes not bad.

However, these messages arent always getting out there because of the money spent by the tobacco industry to eliminate them, said Ibrahim, an assistant professor of public health.

State health departments face an uphill battle when dealing with the political clout of the industry with its lobbying, campaign contributions and specials events, Ibrahim said.

One tactic also involves the industry producing its own ineffective campaigns in order to portray state programs as duplicative and a waste of public dollars. Campaigns designed by the tobacco companies patronize youth in their early teen years, with messages like Think
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