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Marketing low-tar cigarettes and new harm-reduced products

Institution: University of California, San Francisco
Investigator(s): Stacey Anderson, Ph.D.
Award Cycle: 2005 (Cycle 14) Grant #: 14FT-0013 Award: $74,500
Subject Area: Public Health, Public Policy, and Economics
Award Type: Postdoctoral Fellowship Awards
Abstracts

Initial Award Abstract
Between the 1950s and 1970s, the tobacco industry realized that the public was becoming concerned about health risks of smoking. To address this, the industry introduced filtered cigarettes and low-tar cigarettes and used advertising to convince smokers that 1) smoking high-filtration and low-tar cigarettes is healthier, and 2) smoking such cigarettes is better than quitting. This proposal seeks to understand the tobacco industry’s efforts to market low-tar products to smokers concerned about their health and to inform tobacco control policy related to advertising, marketing, and promotions as new generations of harm-reduced tobacco products are introduced.

The specific aims of this study are to: 1. Identify changes in low-tar advertising from the 1950s to the present day. 2. Analyze the messages in low-tar advertising campaigns that try to address other personal and social needs but are unrelated to health needs. 3. Compare and contrast low-tar cigarette advertising and advertising for Potential Reduced Emissions Products (PREPs) marketed to people concerned about the health effects of smoking and tobacco smoke exposure.

The data this research will analyze are 1) the more than 41 million pages of tobacco industry documents made public as the result of lawsuit by the state of Minnesota and Blue Cross/Blue Shield and subsequent litigation against the major US tobacco companies, and 2) various online and print tobacco advertising collections. Research from the open scientific literature will also be incorporated into this work. Documents searches will be conducted using variations on the snowball method, and advertisements will be searched and analyzed in conjunction with findings from the documents. Analyses of relevant documents and advertising campaigns build on each other to construct a thorough analysis of the low-tar and harm-reduction advertising efforts of the tobacco industry in response to the public’s health concerns. This increased knowledge of the tobacco industry’s marketing strategies to maintain a market for cigarettes in a progressively health-protective social and legislative environment will help counteract the industry’s influence over consumer behavior. It will also inform policy relating to the marketing of current and future generations of supposed harm-reduced products to better encourage quitting rather than consumption of these products. This will, in turn, reduce the burden of tobacco-related diseases.
Publications

Every document and picture tells a story: Using internal corporate document reviews, Semiotics and content analysis to assess tobacco advertising
Periodical: Tobacco Control Index Medicus:
Authors: Anderson SJ, Dewhirt T, Ling PM ART
Yr: 2006 Vol: 15 Nbr: Abs: Pg: 254-261

Galbraith and the Management of Specific Demand: Evidence from the tobacco industry.
Periodical: Journal of Institutional Economics Index Medicus:
Authors: Anderson SJ, Dunn SP. ART
Yr: 2006 Vol: 2 Nbr: Abs: Pg: 1-24

Taking ad Vantage of lax advertising reulations: Reassuring and distracting health-concerned smokers
Periodical: Social Science and Medicine Index Medicus:
Authors: Anderson SJ, Pollay Rw, Ling PM ART
Yr: 2006 Vol: Nbr: Abs: Pg: