Industry funded symposium on youth smoking
Friday, October 7, 2011
Posted by: Natalia Gromov
14th and 15th, the Caron Foundation’s Student Assistance
Program is holding the "Adolescent Smoking Prevention and Cessation Symposium”
in Nashville. http://www.preventyouthsmoking.com/index.html)
This event is funded by Philip Morris USA, U.S. Smokeless Tobacco and John
Middleton Company, all owned by Altria. John Middleton is a cigar and pipe
tobacco company that makes fruit and alcohol flavored Black and Mild cigars.
These companies collectively manufacture the
cigarette and flavored smokeless tobacco and cigar brands that are the most
popular with youth (Marlboro, Skoal and Black & Mild). More high school students smoke Marlboros than all
other cigarette brands combined.
companies have a vested interest in insuring that youth continue to use their
products, not in preventing initiation or promoting cessation. There is a
fundamental conflict of interest between organizations committed to tobacco
prevention and cessation and tobacco companies committed to selling
ever-increasing numbers of tobacco products, which they can do only by addicting
a new generation of tobacco users.
There are no
recognized experts in youth prevention and cessation involved in this symposium,
nor are any legitimate tobacco control organizations involved. It is worth
noting that two of the presentations are from other Altria-funded organizations
– the National 4-H Council’s Health Rocks program and the Search Institute.
This event is
just another example of Altria attempting to undermine legitimate prevention and
cessation efforts and trying to polish its image. Needless to say, we urge you
not to attend and to pass this message. If you have any questions or need
information, please contact Victoria Almquist at the Campaign for Tobacco-Free
Kids at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kudos to Bruce Adkins, Director of the Division of Tobacco Prevention at the
West Virginia Bureau for Public Health! When he found out about that there were
speakers at the symposium from the Southern Coalfields regional program, he
alerted them to the funding source for the symposium and they withdrew their
participation. Our goal is to have the groups that take industry funding to end
up talking amongst themselves.
Riordan, Director, Policy
Research, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids