Lobby pro- and anti-tobacco. I here you smokes

Tobacco and health do not mix. This powerful economic sector, major purveyor tax revenues for states, is in turmoil over the development of health policies in Western countries. Hygienism say some, others say caution. Between pro and anti-smoking, war is not the fire but she did not realize either blow smoke ring.

Tobacco and domestic fires

In his book, Lobbying and Health, published by Pascal Editons in collaboration with the French Mutuality, Roger Lenglet recalls the responsibility of smoking in home fires. The author cites a study by McGuire, Cigarettes and Fire Death, which shows that between 2,000 and 24,000 deaths in the US took place in the 70 and 80. "These tragedies are caused by smoldering butts, clouds of explosions gas coming in contact with burning cigarettes, petrol fumes or explosions remover for nails when pressing a lighter ... Not to mention smokers, many, falling asleep with their lit cigarette or 'forget on furniture. " Given this information, the US tobacco lobby tries to prevent the spread of the new and even plans to launch a promotion campaign of vigilance smokers on smoking-related fires in the idea of ​​honoring results Regarding Death reduction. Prior to backtrack to the pressure of public opinion. And remember that "In France, the issue is not raised by anyone."

Since the introduction of highly restrictive laws on this issue, deaths from domestic fires related to cigarettes would now be in the range of 700-900 per year according to USA Today in an article dating back 200 6. The idea of a cigarette long been to question the epidemiological studies on the dangers of tobacco by launching their own, to drown the fish or by building on promotion. Mad Men, which won a big success across the Atlantic tells the story of an advertising agency that boasts, in particular, the benefits of smoking. The scenes take place in the 50s.

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Like all products offered on the stalls, tobacco using the marketing mix (4 P) by adjusting the price, distribution, product and promotion. On this last point, we see on the chart below the link between cigarette sales and promotion. This can be seen more clearly in from this link.

To delay the application of restrictive laws, many parliamentarians have engaged in this fight he seems lost in advance. Edouard Courtia the part of this group Thierry Mariani and André Santini. The UMP deputy from the Oise has proposed in March 2006 a law "to reconcile fight against the passive smoking and maintenance a local economic fabric. "

That is not all. As highlighted in the Internet user, "In order to influence policy," British American Tobacco "has made available to parliamentarians lodges in international tennis at Roland Garros, last spring, as well as tickets to attend the World football in Germany. The group also organized with the Club of Parliamentary amateur tan, dinner in the salons of the presidency of the Senate, a few days before the report of the parliamentary mission on the smoking ban. The president of the Confederation of tobacconists also organizes regular breakfasts with elected officials. "

It sometimes works. In October 2009, MEPs adopted increasing the price of tobacco at 6% against 10% who were offered. Which led to the ire of Marisol Touraine, a PS MP. As recalled by the newspaper Les Echos, the increase in tobacco prices was not accompanied by an equivalent increase in excise duties, taxes levied on tobacco sales.
Shortfall for the state, "between 66 and 90 million euros" annually, according to Yves Bur, champion of tobacco control and UMP.

The goal of tobacco companies in Western countries is to play the card of the freedom to smoke. Smoking is therefore a fundamental right alongside assert his opinion, meet, move ... They were helped in this regard by the campaign tobacconists on the occasion of the 2008 law to ban smoking in -tobacco bars, restaurants, nightclubs and other public places. This law is the logical continuation of the Veil law of 1976 and the Evin Law of 2001 on tobacco advertising. Mobilizing social bodies associated with its interests, the tobacco industry opts for demagogy not without success since the petition set up at the time had received more than one million signatures. It enabled world tobacco to appear as the herald of freedom and tobacconists to retrieve some additional allocations from the government to supplement their income. If tobacconists are therefore "resistant", you can imagine the adjective that befits then tobacco. Especially as other initiatives come against carrer-anti-smoking efforts. Like that of the café that has just started smoking spirit of contradiction (it was one of the first café to ban smoking in his bar in 2000 and one of those who had allowed its customers to smoke after the 2008 law) or the news that we come from Australia or the United States where we learn that it is now forbidden to smoke in some villages entire in his apartment on the balcony or in his car when transporting children.

Directorate Third World

Now, tobacco companies tackle the emerging markets with the knife in his teeth. Africa, China ... become the new El Dorado of tobacco with commercial strategies based on street marketing, distribute free cigarettes in front of schools, promote smoking by highlighting cultural icons to be smoking ... The following video report -dessous testifies.

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And during that time in tobacco ...

On the other side of the chessboard tobacco lobby, there is a body of scientific and policy wishing to change French attitudes towards this particularly addictive. Yves Bur, we said in the Assembly but also Gerard Dubois, president of the Anti-Tobacco Alliance, and author of the book: "Rideau smoke: the secret methods of the tobacco industry."

In the introduction to his book, Gérard Dubois evokes the story of "Jeffrey Wigand. "In April 1994, Jeffrey Wigand received anonymous phone calls:" Do not kidding with tobacco "" You have three children, think of them. Drops or they will suffer. "Jeffrey Wigand is a former vice president of research and development of the American cigarette manufacturer Brown & Williamson. In contact with a journalist, he plans to reveal what he knows about the manufacture of cigarettes. Since living in terror, he constantly keeps a gun in his car and escort his children to their school. One morning he discovers a bullet in his letters in the box. "

Jeffrey Wigand inspired a movie starring Al Pacino and Russell Crowe, The Insider, which gave Revelations in France.


Thanks for smoking in we also find that same theme from the perspective of this time lobbyist.

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Sometimes however, the anti-smoking go a step further in the exploitation of figures related to smoking as recalled by Professor Robert Molimard, tobacco specialist in this interview.

Or use methods that do not alter the nature among pro-tobacco as stated in this article of the Canadian site ledevoir.com.

It was thus possible to read (current 2006-2007 and then more recently on the canvas late 2009-early 2010) as one of the advertisements INPES tobacco was censored due to the action of tobacco companies. Campaign Toxic Corp, moreover excellent with his ironic theme of "replacement smoker" which we translate by smoking alternative to meet the constraints of the Toubon's law, the law of forgiveness Toubon, was launched in 2006.

Elsewhere in Europe, other campaigns also mark the spirits. In fact, hiding behind this rumor a marketing campaign veered l to ensure the promotion of the campaign.

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These techniques can serve the anti-smoking front. Since the announcement of the "censorship" of pictures showing smokers smoking. Thus, recently, several promotional posters for films and exhibitions. Serge Gainsbourg, Jacques Chirac or Coco Chanel and Jacques Tati were seen removed the cigarette they were carrying in their mouths for the purposes of the case.

The vis-à-vis tobacco attitude is very different from that prevailing for alcohol.

This attitude in communication can sustainably serve the action of anti-tobacco. This compliant as René Magritte known since the perception of reality is more important than reality itself.

Mikaël Cabon

NB. Attention, this article is not free of rights. I readily accept that its content is taken provided for asking beforehand: mcabon@gmail.com

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  1. Patrick Duchemin said:

    Your analysis falls into the trap of pseudo-objectivity of giving equal weight to both sides of a pseudo-controversy (one through where many journalists fall easily, usually by intellectual laziness). There is a pro-tobacco lobby, of course, well known, natural offshoot of multinational companies (in fact, the cartel nicotine) to face such a lobby, so it can not be facing an "anti-lobby tobacco "under the gear principle that a football team can not be confronted at a different football team.

    Public health specialists who fight against AIDS are not, themselves, described as the "anti-AIDS lobby", since they do not preclude AIDS industry, whose activities promote HIV transmission. In Africa, people involved in the fight against malaria are not designated as "anti-malaria lobby" to oppose the action of the mosquito does not endanger any economic power.

    By cons, any public health specialist who is dedicated to the fight against the major cause of premature death in the world, smoking (5.4 million deaths per year, one death every six seconds - just after hunger) can only be part of the "anti-smoking lobby." His efforts are suspect, since they threaten the profitability of an industry, that of tobacco. Its public health reasons - that no penalty was given to the specialist involved in the fight against AIDS and against malaria - becomes secondary when it is not a facade behind which some hidden motivation hiding - the plot pharmaceutical industry conspiracy "hygienist", etc.

    This is the sad reality of the trap that the words and expressions which circulate in the collective consciousness behind us. Collective consciousness that is fueled largely or even manipulated by the tobacco industry and its PR agencies, with, we can see, a diabolical efficiency. The episode of "censorship" of subway posters (Tati, Coco Chanel, Gainsbourg, etc.) is only a recent manifestation of this manipulation, and we have seen how easily see complacency, the media, and to this blog, were used in this operation amplifier, uncritically over its real motives and without ever asking the question of who "benefits from the crime."

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hello. This is not because a "crime" benefit an industry that is the culprit. It would be going fast. To assert it takes evidence. When I do not have them, I do not say. But perhaps can you give me some sources that would see more clearly on the issue of censorship posters in the subway for example.
    By assuming the theme of freedom, with the tacit complicity of tobacconists (which are key mediators public health since they sell tobacco and alcohol) and made a part of the media, the world Tobacco managed to take the game in hand. This is what I want to explain in this article. Today we speak of the "right to smoke" as a fundamental right. Appearing as I said draconian appearing, anti-smoking close to any part of the population that reacts epidermal manner when seeking to remove what she sees as a freedom.

    In this article, instead devoted to tobacco lobbies is far more important than the part dedicated to tobacco. It is a measure, I apparently the techniques used by tobacco companies to influence legislation. This is not however a reason not to point fingers in tobacco drifts in communication that can only be detrimental to the cause. Especially as its ties with the pharmaceutical industry, which sees a market for nicotine substitutes, are narrow.

    Regarding your comment about AIDS, it seems to me that in this respect we are on a different level. Just as we do not speak of the cyclone lobby, one can not actually talk about the pro-AIDS lobby. But public organizations, concerned states have implemented strategies to influence back on the front stage this health issue. This, in a limited budgetary context, competes with other priorities that we must prioritize. He who does nothing, does not act, not a form of mercy hope the international community can only fall into oblivion. This may seem hopeless, but it is so. So when states like South Africa or Brazil wants to climb generic production lines for the treatment of AIDS which affects a significant proportion of their populations, they are against international regulations, and must justify to other countries this right pass and so on. So an anti lobby is not necessarily generated by a pro lobby. It depends on the circumstances. What is certain is that in public health, the competition is tough. Not everything can be a priority in terms of public opinion and the final consumer which is the citizen, the ability to receive messages is limited, which may result in an escalation on the part of those seeking to influence, be it for his good.

  3. Patrick Duchemin said:

    In fact, for me there is a fundamental difference between those motivated by a sense of general public interest - which is usually the case with public health specialists involved in the fight against smoking, at least those which I know reputation - and those that are driven by special interests, particularly the commercial interests of the tobacco multinationals (and the alcohol, food, etc.). According to Wikipedia, the term lobby has "an essentially pejorative connotation, lobbies being perceived as defending individual or corporate interests at the expense of the general interest." Certainly, Wikipedia states that, though, "the influence of lobby does not necessarily operate against the will of policy makers, or the general interest." Even if your article uses the term "anti-tobacco lobby" without pejorative intent, it is not necessarily the way the term is understood by your readers. The negative connotation attached to the term sticks to the skin, and it is difficult to get rid of. In addition, the "anti-tobacco" qualifier has a negative character (anti ...) which strengthens the pejorative connotation of the term "lobbying" whom he is attached.

    Furthermore, the chosen name in the title of the article, "pro and anti tobacco lobby" is a position that places deceptively pro tobacco lobby and public health on the same plane. If this is not your intention, alosr the title is not appropriate for the article, and yields to reducing nature - and seductive - a pseudo-objectivity, the back-to-back reference, that the type of debate "5 minutes to the Jews, 5 minutes to Hitler." The article, more nuanced, deserved better.

    Regarding the set-up of "censorship", all the indicators are there to see a move of the tobacco industry, for advertising agencies and PR agencies interposed. The Evin law is in force since 1991. For 18 years calm (apart from a cigarette Sartre stupidly erased on a poster of the BNF there five years). And then, wham, in 2009, in a period of few months, several similar cases of "censorship" erupt as if by magic, and make swell a "controversy" in which circles prevention are all the finger pointing later and decked qualifiers such as "Stalinist" and "hygienists". Curiously, the press did not notice that none of these "censorship" is the result of requests from the public health community. The "censorship" is the fact of advertising themselves, who, all of a sudden, decided to adopt an extremely rigorous interpretation of the Evin law, no one requires, and the surprise of Moreover, Claude Evin himself, who found "ridiculous" this excess of zeal.

    The "censorship" Tati, Coco Chanel and Gainsbourg in the subway were all decided by the Metrobus agency, advertising agency of Parisian public transport. One would also find it difficult to conceive that a representative of public health and the fight against tobacco requires the censure Mr. Hulot's pipe, masking it with a yellow star *** *** !

    If we look at who benefits, there is no comparison. Metrobus is a subsidiary of Publicis Groupe. Publicis is especially the Leo Burnett agency, Philip Morris says that for more than 50 years the lucrative advertising account Marboro brand. The enemy Publicis is the Loi Evin tobacco and associations responsible for enforcement. Publicis, the operation "censorship" can do two things at once: it is both a campaign of denigrating these associations, while attacking the Evin law. Note that after each episode of "censorship" operation, the voices have systematically to ask for a "softening" of the Evin law (starting with the spokesman ARPP, lobby advertising French) - we know that in the mouth advertising, including those working for the tobacco industry (and alcohol), "easing" is simply a euphemism for "dismantling".

    Another indicator reflecting a perfectly orchestrated campaign in order to "manufacture" controversy: the press Metrobus release of the April 16, 2009 begins "Following the controversy raised by the Metrobus demand hide the pipe of Jacques Tati on the advertising poster of the French Cinematheque, ... "In fact, when this news appears, it can not be any controversy. Articles reporting on the "censorship" appeared the same day, and the controversy will only take shape in the next few days. To have expected even before it starts, it is necessary that Metrobus course con kick. To say that the controversy was "manufactured" by the advertising agency, there is a small step, it is not too risky to cross, knowing that, for a group like Publicis This is child to make such a manipulation of public opinion play.

    These few indications are very basic and the issue deserves further analysis, which would be, I think, very revealing about how tobacco multinationals (such as alcohol and food) go about undermining public health efforts, weaken the legislation and denigrate prevention specialists. Their actions have effects that persist in the minds of even the most critical and better protected against such intrusion (I'm not myself fully immunized against these effects). Your article, which goes against the meaning of these manipulations, also door, kicking and screaming, some traces that I allowed myself to raise.

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  7. tobacco pro says:

    I love, always the same old story.
    pro-tobacco and smokers are killers, unconscious.
    I read that the pro-smoking lobby can not have anti-smoking lobby in front, making the amalgam with AIDS or malaria.
    I recall for information that tobacco is not a disease but a product.
    I also remember that this product, more than 14 billion euros a year to the state (the third biggest after tax alcohol and gasoline).

    then stop typing on tobacco.
    while we stygmatise smoking, obesity and the deadly risks represent more dangerous than cigarettes.
    indeed a child of 10 years suffering from obesity as many risk dying of a heart problem that a smoker smoking 10 cigarettes a day over a lifetime (taking into account a smoker lives 50 years)

    Today anti-tobacco are hypocrites.
    why not simply ban smoking and to flourish a parallel market, dropping 40,000 tobacconists tobaccos, small traders who live here, drop a 20aine large multinational companies each with more than 100,000 employees worldwide and void the state 15 billion euros.
    in return, since tobacco is banned, raise taxes and fees, which can be fill the loss of income.

    Excluding tobacco do not ask outright ban but a price increase, a promotion ban in shops. that's all.
    prohibit why when you can make money.

  8. Moa says:

    Congratulations to Patrick Duchemin for his very pertinent analysis!

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