The tobacco industry: targeted discrimination and prejudice
The tobacco industry pretends to care about social justice, civil rights, and cultural issues to convince specific communities15161718 – like Black and Hispanic, LGBTQIA+, and low-income – that Big Tobacco’s on their side. In fact, they use predatory and manipulative marketing and even gave out free products to hook communities on their deadly products.19 The industry’s strategies, which are rooted in racism, homophobia, and discrimination, disproportionately harm historically excluded populations.
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Tobacco industry’s damage
The tobacco industry currently spends billions each year on slick marketing tactics1 and political influence2 so they can profit off death and disease.
- OpenSecrets. Industry Profile: Tobacco. Opensecrets.org. https://www.opensecrets.org/federal-lobbying/industries/summary?cycle=2021&id=A02. Accessed March 16, 2022.
- R.J. Reynolds. Younger Adult Smokers: Strategies and Opportunities. https://www.industrydocuments.ucsf.edu/docs/rkvk0045. 1984 February 29.
- Break Free From Plastic. Branded Vol. III: Demanding corporate accountability for plastic pollution. 2020.
- Governor Newsom Signs Legislation Making California First in the Nation to Ban Toxic Chemicals in Cosmetics [press release]. gov.ca.gov. https://www.gov.ca.gov/2020/09/30/governor-newsom-signs-legislation-making-california-first-in-the-nation-to-ban-toxic-chemicals-in-cosmetics/. Published September 30, 2020. Accessed March 23, 2022.
- Landmark California law bans 'forever chemicals' in products for infants, children [press release]. ewg.org. https://www.ewg.org/news-insights/news-release/2021/10/landmark-california-law-bans-forever-chemicals-products-infants. Published October 5, 2021. Accessed March 23, 2022.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Tobacco Industry Marketing. cdc.gov. https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/tobacco_industry/marketing/index.htm. Reviewed May 14, 2021. Accessed March 15, 2022.
- Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. Tobacco Use and Hispanics. tobaccofreekids.org. https://www.tobaccofreekids.org/assets/factsheets/0134.pdf. Published December 20, 2021. Accessed March 24, 2022.
- Truth Initiative. How tobacco companies use experiential marketing. truthinitiative.org. https://truthinitiative.org/research-resources/tobacco-industry-marketing/how-tobacco-companies-use-experiential-marketing. Published June 26, 2018. Accessed March 15, 2022.
- Tobacco Control Legal Consortium. Evans v. Lorillard: A Bittersweet Victory Against the Tobacco Industry. https://www.publichealthlawcenter.org/sites/default/files/resources/tclc-Evans-v-Lorillard-case-study-2016.pdf. Updated August 2016. Accessed September 17, 2020.