Recruitment/use of smokers for advocacy

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

  • Recruitment of addicted smokers as a potential voting bloc

This document is an excerpt of a 1985 speech from the files of past president of Philip Morris, R.W. Murray. The speech reveals that not only did this PM president know that most smokers dislike smoking and want to quit, but also that he sought to "mobilize" the most addicted smokers to help PM oppose higher taxes on cigarettes. The speech says,

There are some 50 million smokers today in the U.S. I realize that research tells us that the majority of smokers wished they did not smoke and are, therefore, unlikely to be of much help to the industry. There are probably 5% or so of smokers who are ready to stand up for their habit and this would give us a body of some 2.5 million people. This is a large block of voters, even in a country as large as the U.S. ...My guess is that a large number of our smokers must take the view that, though they may try to quit, they will probably not be successful. Having faced up to that fact they will probably continue to smoke, I cannot believe that they will willingly accept higher taxes on cigarettes. On the tax issue, therefore, we can probably mobilize a fairly large proportion of the 50 million smokers in the U.S. and this is a formidable number of voters.

In effect, the speaker is suggesting that the Philip Morris Tobacco Company exploit the most heavily addicted smokers in the U.S. to help Philip Morris oppose higher cigarette taxes.

Title Smoking and Health Initiatives - P.M. International
Date 19850300/E
Type Speech, Presentation, List
Bates 2023268366/8374
Collection Philip Morris
Pages 9

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