2004ASAP--Session 1 Who Me An Activist


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2004ASAP--Session 1 Who Me An Activist

  1. 1. Who, me, an activist? Debra Efroymson (Nga) Regional Director PATH Canada, Dhaka
  2. 2. Why is tobacco control needed?
  3. 3. Tobacco control for…health <ul><li>4,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke </li></ul><ul><li>Over 40 known carcinogens in tobacco smoke </li></ul><ul><li>Causes many kinds of cancer, plus heart disease, stroke, respiratory disease, etc. etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Biggest cause of preventable death </li></ul><ul><li>Takes on average 8 years of life from smokers </li></ul><ul><li>Causes many diseases in non-smokers exposed to smoke </li></ul>
  4. 4. Tobacco control for…environment <ul><li>Trees cut down to create land to plant tobacco </li></ul><ul><li>Trees cut down to dry tobacco </li></ul><ul><li>Chemical wastes from tobacco production pollute land and water </li></ul><ul><li>Fires caused by smoking </li></ul><ul><li>Smoking main cause of indoor air pollution </li></ul>
  5. 5. Tobacco control for…economy <ul><li>Foreign exchange wasted importing tobacco </li></ul><ul><li>Money not spent on tobacco can be invested in the economy, creating more jobs and improving life </li></ul><ul><li>Health care costs, lost productivity </li></ul><ul><li>Tobacco mostly consumed by those who can least afford it—further drain on resources for the poorest </li></ul>
  6. 6. Tobacco control because…I’m angry! <ul><li>Who is stronger: government or the tobacco industry? </li></ul><ul><li>Does an industry have the right to tell lies and deceive people? </li></ul><ul><li>Does an industry have the right to market a deadly, addictive product? </li></ul>
  7. 7. Why I’m angry at the tobacco industry: they… <ul><li>Lied about health effects for decades </li></ul><ul><li>Market to young people and lie about it </li></ul><ul><li>Lied about tobacco being addictive </li></ul><ul><li>Lied about low-tar cigarettes being healthier </li></ul><ul><li>Continue to lie about passive smoking </li></ul>
  8. 8. More reasons! <ul><li>Buy off other industries (hospitality, advertising) </li></ul><ul><li>Try to stop governments from passing law </li></ul><ul><li>Are active in smuggling cigarettes </li></ul><ul><li>Pretend to represent farmers </li></ul><ul><li>Run counter-effective youth prevention programs </li></ul><ul><li>Have tried to infiltrate the WHO </li></ul>
  9. 9. Health effects <ul><li>In 1950s tobacco industry knew smoking caused cancer; denied it for decades </li></ul><ul><li>“The problem is how do you sell death? How do you sell poison that kills 350,000 people per year, 1,000 people a day?”—former marketing consultant to 5 tobacco companies </li></ul>
  10. 10. Targeting youth <ul><li>“…the base of our business is the high school student.” (Lorillard, 1978) </li></ul><ul><li>“The loss of younger adult males and teenagers is more important to the long term, drying up the supply of new smokers to replace the old. This is not a fixed loss to the industry: its importance increases with time.” (RJR 1982) </li></ul>
  11. 11. Addictiveness of tobacco <ul><li>“Nicotine is addictive. We are, then, in the business of selling nicotine—an addictive drug…” (B&W 1963) </li></ul><ul><li>“…BAT should learn to look at itself as a drug company rather than as a tobacco company.” (BAT 1980) </li></ul>
  12. 12. Low tar (light) cigarettes <ul><li>Industry wish: “reassure the consumer that these brands are relatively more ‘healthy’” (BAT 1971) </li></ul><ul><li>Despite industry claims and suggestions, “…the effect of switching to low tar cigarettes may be to increase, not decrease, the risks of smoking.” Tobacco Advisory Council, 1979 </li></ul>
  13. 13. Passive smoking <ul><li>Philip Morris spent millions of dollars in the 1990s to undermine a study on the dangers of passive smoking </li></ul><ul><li>“Our objective is to limit the introduction and spread of smoking restrictions and maintain the widespread social acceptability of smoking in Asia.” (PM 1989) </li></ul>
  14. 14. Threatening politicians <ul><li>“Let politicians know the down-side of anti-activity by identifying a vulnerable candidate, bringing forces to bear to cause him/her to lose the election, then discreetly let other politicians know we have done this.” (PM 1987) </li></ul>
  15. 15. Smuggling <ul><li>“Following a loss of share in 1992, ITL rebounded by making its major trademarks available in smuggled channels…” (Imperial Tobacco, 1994) </li></ul>
  16. 16. Farmers <ul><li>Established the International Tobacco Growers’ Association (ITGA) as an industry front group (work done by an ad agency in England, not by farmers) </li></ul><ul><li>“…support of the Growers will be invaluable in our continued battle with critics of the industry…” (BAT 1988) </li></ul><ul><li>In fact, most farmers are very poor </li></ul>
  17. 17. Youth <ul><li>Brown & Williamson “will not support a youth smoking program which discourages young people from smoking.” (Tobacco Institute 1983) </li></ul><ul><li>“They make the cigarettes, then tell us not to smoke them—isn’t there any other target for their mischief?”—15-year old male student in Bangladesh </li></ul>
  18. 18. WHO <ul><li>Spend millions attacking and fighting the WHO </li></ul><ul><li>“Paul has managed to persuade PAHO to take tobacco off their list of priorities for this year.” (BAT 1991) </li></ul>
  19. 19. Conclusion Tobacco control because: <ul><li>Tobacco kills those who buy it </li></ul><ul><li>Tobacco smoke hurts and kills those exposed to it </li></ul><ul><li>Tobacco cultivation harms the environment </li></ul><ul><li>Tobacco harms economies (individual, family, national) </li></ul><ul><li>The tobacco industry can’t be trusted </li></ul>
  20. 20. Thanks!