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Opinions of African Americans about Tobacco Industry Philanthropy

Gary King, PhD1, Tesfayi Gebreselassie1, Robyn Mallett, PhD2, Robert Bendel, PhD3, and Lynn Kozlowski, PhD1. (1) Department of Biobehavioral Health, Penn State University, 315 E. Henderson Bldg, University Park, PA 16802, 814-863-8184, gxk14@psu.edu, (2) Department of Psychology, University of Virginia, PO Box 400400, Charlottesville, VA 22904, (3) Washington State University, W. 2917 Fort George Wright Drive, Spokane, WA 99224

This paper investigates the opinions of African Americans about the philanthropic contributions of the tobacco industry to black communities. The philanthropic role of the tobacco industry has to be carefully examined in light of its economic interests and tobacco related health disparities. Approximately 1000 African American adults (18 years or older) residing in noninstitutionalized settings were randomly selected using a cross-sectional stratified cluster sample of 10 US congressional districts represented by African Americans. Four separate dependent variables were examined. Data analysis included cross classification analyses and multivariate logistic regression. Over two-thirds of respondents agreed that the tobacco industry gives money to African American communities to improve its image (71%), to make money (83.2%) and to encourage people to smoke (60.5%). Slightly more than one-third of respondents indicated that the industry gives money to help the community. Multivariate analyses generally revealed agreement across most demographic indicators. In each of the three models, attitudinal predictors were more powerful than demographic variables. This study revealed that African Americans generally have consistent opinions about the tobacco industry’s philanthropic contributions. Respondents in this study agreed that the tobacco industry’s primary reasons for giving money were related to improving their image and making money. These results may be useful in tobacco control policy and intervention strategies targeting African Americans.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: 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.

Stop! You are Making Me Sick! Improving Public Health through Political and Social Change

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA