153856 "Calling Phil-ip Morrr-rriss!" : Nurses bearing witness to corporate greed

Tuesday, November 6, 2007: 9:30 AM

Sharon P. Brown, PhD(c), MPH, MN , Public Health and Epidemiology, University of California-Irvine, Wexford, PA
The US government began its first overt support of the tobacco industry through the establishment of price supports in the1930s – the beginning of the “Golden Leaf” subsidies for tobacco. This support continued throughout the decades, as the US continued to join efforts with Big Tobacco, as represented by the use of Section 301 of the US Trade Act which ultimately allowed for the removal of strict import restrictions regarding US tobacco. Further examples of US trade lenience, as well as key examples of tobacco industry tactics [particularly by Philip Morris], will demonstrate how the industry continues to influence US and international tobacco trade policies. Another key part of the presentation will be the introduction of a group of nurses, the Nightingales. As part of a multinational effort of health advocates, using their professional expertise and advocacy skills to expose the corporate "irresponsibility" of the tobacco industry both here and abroad, they converge from all over the US at the annual shareholders' meetings of the largest tobacco companies in the US. Through corporate stock purchases of individual shares, they are afforded the opportunity to enter the hallowed grounds, gaining access to the previously unknown processes of the tobacco giants' annual ritual of professing their greed and “corporate social responsibility” endeavors to their shareholders. Descriptions of advocacy efforts exposing the tobacco industry's egregious health and human rights violations accomplished through essentially unrestricted US trade supports will be shared, and recommendations made for future political activities to improve the health of all citizens.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe how past and current US policies have supported the tobacco industry. 2. Identify key examples of tobacco industry tactics [particularly by Altria (Philip Morris)] to influence US/international tobacco trade policies. 3. Illustrate how health advocates can utilize their professional expertise and advocacy skills to expose the corporate "irresponsibility" of the tobacco industry.

Keywords: Health Care Advocates, Tobacco Policy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? Yes

Name of Organization Clinical/Research Area Type of relationship
Altria none Ownership of 1 share in order to gain access to & speak at annual stockholders' meeting and Stock Ownership

Any company-sponsored training? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.