Friday, October 7, 2011

Tobacco company sponsors teen cessation conference

A few weeks ago I listened to a webinar about reducing teen smoking rates. I knew it was sponsored by Altria (formerly known as Phillip Morris, AKA Marlboro land). It wasn't so much what was said but what was NOT said. There was no disclosure for this webinar that Altria was paying for it and I bet that if it had been disclosed, many of the call participants would have hung up.

Next, I started receiving notices about a two day conference in Tennessee in November, again sponsored by Altria. Is this an attempt to rectify their past misdeeds? Or just a brilliant marketing message--anyone who attends this conference is given a message that is used when returning to work with teens. The message will be one that is shaped to least harmful for the tobacco companies.

Does anyone really believe they don't want our children to smoke? They don't want their children to smoke but they sure do want your children and the billions of children around the world to pick it up. In Indonesia, there are no age restrictions for selling cigarettes and it's routine to market to teens. In the United States, we have tried to stop sales to children and stop the blatant youth marketing, such as with Joe Camel, but all our tobacco control efforts has done is to make the tobacco companies become masters of manipulation where ever their product is discussed--even under the guise of "cessation".

The tobacco companies have lied for years and have been convicted for racketeering-- the same charges the mafia have been convicted under. The judge ruled that the culture of deceit was so prevalent within the company structure that deceit was likely to continue. Which means we all need to be vigilant against their vast billions of dollars used to get teens addicted to tobacco products before they are legally able to buy them.

For related stories click here: A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing   Smoking Baby  Cigarette advertising to teens

1 comment:

Amy said...

Tobacco Company should not allow young people from being addicted to tobacco. They say they want to prevent kids and teens from smoking but they started it all, they started the distribution of cigarette around the world.