Tobacco company toll-free 800 number questions

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

This document appears to be a "think piece" about how to deal with consumer phone calls coming in to the Brown & Williamson Tobacco Company's toll-free 1-800 number.

The writer grapples with the fact that B&W is continuing to manufacture a product that the company knows is harmful, and the particularly difficult calls coming into the 800 number as a result. For example, the writer mulls over ways to respond to a caller who tells them their family member has died as a result of smoking:

"How can we sympathetically respond, yet keep in mind B&W, to a person who calls to say their family member has passed away and they feel that the cause of death was smoking? The repsonse that we were given some time ago by legal that said, 'We're sorry you feel that way but we do not share your views. The purpose of the 800 number is not to debate social or health issues' seems harsh..."

The writer also lists some of the common questions that come in on the 800 number:

Which is more harmful, the tar or the nicotine?

Are lights and ultra lights less harmful than the full flavor style?

Do your cigarettes cause cancer?

Does your company have literature to help smokers quit?

What are the ingredients--why can't you give them to me?

What chemicals are in our tobacco?

Should consumer reps sign any letter that has the potential to "bite us back" like fireballs?

How do you get someone who is intoxicated to hang up first?

Title: Legal Isues. Regarding the warning that says: Smoking Causes Lung Cancer, Heart Disease, Emphysema And May Complicate Pregnancy, I have had a few comments about how we can still manufacture products that we know are harmful.
Date: 00000000 (undated)
Type: Report
Bates No. 682508944/8949
Collection: Brown & Williamson
Pages: 6

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