216837 Creating the “desired mindset”: Tobacco Manufacturers' efforts to improve its corporate image among women

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 : 3:06 PM - 3:24 PM

Patricia McDaniel, PhD , Department of Social & Behavioral Sciences, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Ruth Malone, RN, PhD, FAAN , Social and Behavioral Sciences, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Background: Since the 1970s, American tobacco companies have used corporate contributions and event sponsorships to enlist women's organizations as allies to promote the tobacco industry's perspective to policymakers and the public. Recently, women have become a primary target audience of tobacco manufacturers' corporate social responsibility initiatives. This presentation explores why and how major tobacco manufacturers craft corporate social responsibility initiatives to appeal to women.

Methods: Review and analysis of publicly available internal tobacco industry documents and relevant secondary data.

Results: Tobacco manufacturers regarded women as an influential political group. To improve its image among women, while keeping tobacco off their organizational agendas, companys sponsored women's leadership groups and programs. They also sought to appeal to women it defined as “active moms” by advertising its commitment to domestic violence victims. It was more successful in securing women's organizations as allies than active moms. These organizations continue to de-prioritize smoking as a women's health issue.

Conclusions: Tobacco manufacturers' attempts to divert women's attention from tobacco by supporting domestic violence organizations may have only been possible because of the broader perception that tobacco is not a women's health issue. Raising tobacco's visibility as a global women's health issue should include problematizing tobacco companies' ties to influential women's groups.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Public health or related public policy
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe tobacco manufacturers' efforts to improve its image among women. Evaluate the success of tobacco manufacturers' efforts. Assess ways to raise awareness of tobacco as a women’s health issue

Keywords: Tobacco Industry, Women's Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I helped conduct the research the presentation is based upon.
Any relevant financial relationships? 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.