The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

4105.0: Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 1:13 PM

Abstract #60710

How the industry can benefit from tobacco boycotts

Naphtali Offen, BS, Dept. of Social & Behavioral Sciences, University of California, San Francisco, Box 0612, San Francisco, CA 94143-0612, 415-514-3133, and Ruth E. Malone, RN, PhD, Dept. of Social & Behavioral Sciences and Center for Tobacco Control Research & Education, University of California, San Francisco, Box 1390, San Francisco, CA 94143-1390.

This paper examines how boycotts of tobacco companies have affected the tobacco industry. We searched previously-secret tobacco industry documents to review the history of boycotts of the industry. Between 1956 and the present, at least 10 boycotts have been called against the tobacco industry or individual tobacco companies. Most were short-lived and targeted specific companies. Several targeted non-tobacco products owned by tobacco companies; only a few boycotts singled out brands. More than half sought to remedy specific grievances unrelated to health, such as hiring practices. Health-focused boycotts, such as the ongoing INFACT boycott of the non-tobacco products of Philip Morris/Kraft, often raised public awareness of the harm committed by the tobacco industry and put the industry on the defensive, even when financial impact was negligible. Boycotts that did not address health issues sometimes provided the industry with opportunities to cultivate new or established markets, which thwarted the goals of tobacco control. The tobacco industry is particularly adept at turning actions against it to its own advantage. Tobacco control activists should be wary of supporting boycotts that do not include health issues as part of their primary focus.Funding: National Cancer Institute (CA90789),California Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program (11RT-0139).

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Advocacy, Tobacco Industry

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Detect, Deceive, Divide, Derail: Patterns of Tobacco Industry Intelligence and Counter-Advocacy

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA