Countermarketing Unhealthy Food: Lessons from Tobacco

Thirty years of research in tobacco control has shown that countermarketing has been effective in reducing tobacco use, especially among teenagers and young adults. This policy brief by investigators at the City University of New York Urban Food Policy Institute  describes some of the key elements of effective tobacco countermarketing campaigns, and examines the relevance of these evidence-based countermarketing practices to unhealthy food and beverages, defined as processed products high in unhealthy fats, sugar, salt and empty calories

Evidence Suggests the Oil Industry Wrote Big Tobacco’s Playbook

“Exxon and its allies have dismissed comparisons to Big Tobacco as baseless”, writes Smoke and Fumes, a project of the Center for International Environmental Law. “Our research in more than 14 million documents of the Tobacco Industry Archives reveals compelling evidence that the relationship between these two industries is neither coincidental nor casual. Beyond a doubt, the oil companies have benefitted from the tobacco playbook in their fight against climate science. But the question arises, where did the tobacco companies get their playbook in the first place?” Read more.

Moral Jeopardy: What are the risks of accepting money from the alcohol, tobacco and gambling industries?

In his new book, Moral Jeopardy: Risks of Accepting Money from the Alcohol, Tobacco and Gambling Industries (Cambridge University Press, 2016), Peter Adams examines the ethical issues that arise when people and organizations accept money from tobacco, alcohol and gambling corporations.  Adams is professor and deputy head of the School of Population Health at the University of Auckland in New Zealand and an associate director of its Centre for Addiction Research.  Corporations and Health Watch’s Nick Freudenberg conducted this e-mail interview of Adams. Continue reading Moral Jeopardy: What are the risks of accepting money from the alcohol, tobacco and gambling industries?

Philip Morris gets its ash kicked in Uruguay; where will it next blow smoke?

Philip Morris International just lost a six-year battle to block Uruguay’s strong cigarette warning labels, which cover 80 percent of the front and back of cigarette packs, including graphic photos of the damages of smoking, write Eric Crosbie and Stanton Glanz in The Conversation. Continue reading Philip Morris gets its ash kicked in Uruguay; where will it next blow smoke?

In hard-hitting ad campaign, Philly targets tobacco industry marketing practices

“Our children are not replacement smokers!” a protest leader cries in a radio spot, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer.  “We have the power!” the crowd responds – which is exactly the point of this unusually aggressive new campaign targeting the tobacco industry’s heavy marketing in low-income and African American neighborhoods. On ads inside SEPTA buses and subway cars, a giant, cuff-link-adorned hand representing the tobacco industry plucks a black teenager from a line of friends, leaving the chalk outline of the teen’s body behind.

Advertisements such as this one are being placed in SEPTA vehicles and at bus stops by the Philadelphia Department of Public Health.
Advertisements such as this one are being placed in SEPTA vehicles and at bus stops by the Philadelphia Department of Public Health.

Market share for flavor capsule cigarettes is quickly growing, especially in Latin America

Flavor capsules in cigarette filters are a product design innovation that allows consumers to crush a liquid-filled capsule that flavors the cigarette smoke. Most capsules include menthol flavorings.  The top five countries with the highest market share for flavor capsule cigarettes are in the Latin American region: Chile, Peru, Guatemala, Mexico and Argentina.

Citation: Thrasher JF, Islam F, Barnoya J, Mejia R, Valenzuela MT, Chaloupka FJ. Market share for flavour capsule cigarettes is quickly growing, especially in Latin America. Tob Control. 2016 Jun 21. pii: tobaccocontrol-2016-053030.

Cigarette packs are being stripped of advertising around the world. But not in the US.

Cigarette packs have long served as portable advertising for tobacco companies, with smokers conveniently disseminating branding and imagery wherever they go, writes Vox Science and Health.  Packaging has also long been a central target for health advocates in the global effort to get more people off deadly tobacco products. Last week, the World Health Organization called on countries everywhere to step up the war on tobacco advertising and promotion by introducing plain, or standardized, packaging of tobacco products. Notably, the United States isn’t even close to getting plain packaging on cigarettes anytime soon.

Judge Criticizes Cigarette Makers, Adopts New Warning Statements

The Wall Street Journal reports that the federal judge presiding over government litigation against tobacco companies in a Monday opinion blasted cigarette makers for continuing to fight her court order requiring them to warn the public about the dangers of smoking. U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler, based in Washington, adopted revised language Monday for the product warnings and rejected as “ridiculous” the latest legal arguments being made by the tobacco companies. She said the defendants were trying to further delay the resolution of a case that began in 1999.

Don’t Let Progress on Tobacco Evaporate

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported this month that the adult smoking rate in the United States has fallen to a new low, a testament to the decades of education about the dangers of tobacco and measures to discourage its use. But, warns an editorial in the New York Times, now Republicans in the House are seeking to slash the very government programs that have helped to achieve such remarkable success.

TPP Caves to the Tobacco Industry, Threatens Public Health

Ellen R. Shaffer, Joseph E. Brenner   Nov. 6, 2015               Cross-posted from CPATH

The vacuous “tobacco control” provision in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) virtually capitulates to the demands of multinational tobacco corporations, jeopardizing nations’ health and economic welfare.  Public health and medical advocates in the U.S. and abroad consistently urged negotiators to exclude tobacco control protections from trade challenges under the TPP.  But tobacco industry opposition won the day, bolstered by corporate allies concerned that addressing the uniquely lethal effects of tobacco in trade agreements could set a precedent for reining in their own practices.

Continue reading TPP Caves to the Tobacco Industry, Threatens Public Health