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$68M in 2011 was the total international assistance for tobacco control efforts in all low- and middle-income countries. This was also the amount spent EVERY THREE DAYS by the tobacco industry to advertise and promote its products in the United States of America.

Funding Charities

2013 US charitable contributions from the Altria Companies, in millions, USD

CATEGORY/
PROGRAM
TOTAL
AMOUNT
NUMBER OF
GIFTS
AVERAGE GIFT
PER ORG
FACT

MIDDLE SCHOOL
EDUCATION AND
SUPPORT
(E.G. SUCCESS 360°)
$25.40
78
$0.33
78 different educational institutions and programs received funding

ARTS AND CULTURE
$4.40
28
$0.16
The Smithsonian Institution received funding

CIVIC
$2.00
44
$0.05
Two donations were to healthcare organizations

EMPLOYEE PROGRAMS
$4.40
89
$0.05
88 different organizations received
funding through employee programs

ENVIRONMENT
$2.80
15
$0.19
Six charities in Virginia,
a top tobacco-growing state, received funding

HUMANITARIAN AID
AND MILITARY SERVICE
SUPPORT
$1.60
13
$0.12
The American Red Cross and its
Virginia chapter received funding

BUSINESSDIRECTED
GIVING
$4.30
390
$0.01
The Texas Conservative Coalition
Research Institute received funding

IN-KIND GIVING
$1.20
24
$0.05
485 charitable events received wine
donated by Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, of which Altria is the parent company

REGIONAL GIVING
$1.10
115
$0.01
6 chapters of the Boys & Girls Club received funding

TOTALS, IN MILLIONS
$47.20
796
$0.97

Tobacco company charitable giving is small compared to profits and creates a conflict of interest when donated to youth or healthcare organizations.

Tobacco companies spend more than $900,000 AN HOUR

in the USA alone to market their products.

Waterford Cigarettes

 
In 1966, a new American Tobacco Company cigarette featured a crushable water capsule. The company made claims that they were using the “oldest idea in smoking” (water filtration from a hookah) to enhance the taste of their cigarette. This cigarette debuted as companies used words like “taste” to signal that one cigarette was “healthier” than another.

The American Tobacco Company was willing to leverage the idea that hookahs filtered smoke effectively through water to sell a supposedly safer cigarette. Waterford was a commercial flop.

This is an interesting development when placed in the context of the tobacco industry’s development of several issues.

  1. The industry was willing to utilize the harm reduction angle central to water pipe use, that water works as a smoke filter, to sell cigarettes back in the 1960s.
  2. This was the first “capsuled” cigarette, a technology that has resurfaced today.
  3. American Tobacco Company wanted to link the cigarette to water pipes so they added a picture of what looks like a man drinking directly from a tea kettle to the advertisement.

Discounts Dominate

Cigarette marketing expenditures by category, USA, 2011; USD, in millions

Largely due to the ban on direct and indirect ads and sponsorship in the USA, the tobacco industry spends most of its marketing dollars (85.6%) on price discounts and coupons.

Advertising and promotional expenditures for cigarettes increased from $8.0 billion in 2010 to $8.4 billion in 2011; however, the total number of cigarettes sold decreased by 8.1 billion units (2.9%).

Social media campaigns

“Smoking Kid” Video, Thailand: 2012 (top images) and “Tips from Former Smokers” Campaign, USA: 2012-2014 (bottom images)

 

“SMOKING KID” VIDEO, THAILAND: 2012

Catch phrase: “If it’s so bad, why are you smoking?”

When children approached the adult smokers for a light, the adults refused and reminded them that smoking is bad. The children gave each adult a note saying, “You worry about me. Why not about yourself?” Then almost every adult paused and
threw away their cigarette. This emotional anti-smoking ad led to a 40% increase in national quitline calls as well as over 5 million YouTube views within 10 days.

“TIPS FROM FORMER SMOKERS” CAMPAIGN, USA: 2012–2014

The 2012–2014 CDC campaign, “Tips from Former Smokers,” included ads on TV, radio, billboards, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook, featuring hard-hitting, graphic stories told by former smokers.

Industry Propaganda

Illegal cigarettes: Who’s in control?, a video created and distributed by British American Tobacco, tries again to link government regulation of the tobacco market to illicit trade and organized crime.

“Charitable Giving”

Donations from Philip Morris International (PMI); 2009 – 2013

0 - 49999
50000 - 99999
100000 - 199999
200000 - 499999
500000 - 999999
1000000 - 1000000000
No Data

Donations from Philip Morris International (PMI); 2009 – 2013

In 2001, a senior manager at Philip Morris observed, “Creating social value starts with the product; yet, except to the smoker, there is no perceived social value to our product. …” Tobacco companies tout their Corporate Social Responsibility and take up environmental causes such as the “Keep America Beautiful” campaign, but in reality this stance is designed to protect the value of their business.

One of the statements that tobacco companies were required to publish in the United States (newspapers, TV, their websites, and on cigarette packs) after a federal court in 2012 concluded that the companies “deliberately deceived the American public”. “There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke.”

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