Proposal for an industry youth program
This 1982 Tobacco Institute proposal suggested what apparently became the industry's "Responsible Living" youth smoking prevention program. Objectives of the Institute's youth nonsmoking program were to "...offset further erosion of the industry's image in this area, reverse political trends and gain recognition of our efforts from public service organizations and public officials." The proposal complains that youth anti-smoking programs created by public health authorities portray smoking as "unhealthy" and "repugnant," thus the industry proceeded to design its own such programs.
The Tobacco Institute proposes that their program tell children to wait until they are older to start smoking, rather than inform them about the health hazards associated with smoking. The Institute proposes their program be given to youth organizations with "no established anti-smoking positions." It portrays smoking as an "adult custom" that children can do when they are older. The document contains mock-ups of ads promoting the program.
Federal and local legislation has been proposed to deal with the [youth smoking] issue. And, naturally, anti-smoking groups have spent a good deal of time and money discouraging youngsters from smoking. Unlike our proposed project, they present smoking as repugnant and unhealthy. Saturday morning television, aimed largely at small children, carries anti-smoking messages, some featuring Star Wars and cartoon characters. Despite the tobacco industry's repeated assertions regarding youngsters, we continue to be seen as the problem--and certainly not part of the solution. On the following pages we describe a program for industry sponsorship. It is designed to offset further erosion of the industry's image in this area, reverse political trends and gain recognition of our efforts from public service organizations and public officials... ....Several highly visible, businesslike organizations have established programs in the area of "responsible living." We would offer our program to one of those groups -- along with adequate funding-- to enhance their existing efforts... ....III. Privately preview the program to key public officials. Seek their endorsement of it.... ....Additionally, we would produce a 15-minute film covering the same points as those in the booklet, "The Wisdom to Wait." This film would be commercially distributed to adult organizations nationally...[The "Wisdom to Wait" booklet has a photo of a teenage girl crossing her arms and saying, "You do it, why can't I?"]
Title Responsible Living for Teenagers: A Public Service Proposal for the Tobacco Industry
Org. Author Tobacco Institute
Type Report, advertisement, budget, outline, photograph
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