Tobacco Science - Strategy Explained

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Today the fact that industrial tobacco products are harmful has become common knowledge. However when the cigarette companies began their business, people were drawn to the product in hordes. The game continues even today and the harm was hidden from the general population for a considerably long period. How did that happen? Due to a strategy now known universally as "Tobacco Science". What was that strategy?

- Market the product as essential for health and happiness
- Link it to sports and other entertainment activities
- Make it a lifestyle product
- Heavily advertise it through all media outlets
- Link it to the health and happiness of all sections of society
- Pay doctors and celebrities to endorse and advertise the product
- Sponsor biased studies to link it to health benefits
- Ensure favourable reports and studies are published in ‘scientific’ journals
- Threaten and abuse detractors
- Pay doctors and medical scientists to publicly voice dissent against adverse opinions expressed
- Fund medical associations and force them to endorse the product
- Create lingo to mainstream the smoking habit into thought patterns
- Sponsor studies to refute evidence of harm
- Indulge in character assassination and ensure end of professional careers of dissenters of repute
- Obfuscate the issue and point out that the harm is caused by external factors
- Abuse and threaten victims who protest
- Mock at victims and question their mental capacity
- Portray victims as suffering from inferiority complex and invent new scientific names of perceived disorders
- Mock at the social protest using similar tactics by grouping protestors as fringe elements and lunatics
- Employ highly paid professional lawyers and firms to fight cases
- Fund the Human Genome Project to blame the tobacco cancer association on genes when the going got tough
- Force policy makers to go slow on policies to ban tobacco and keep loopholes so that the industry can keep functioning
- Ensure marketing through agents despite restrictions posing to reach those “deprived” of pleasure
- Keep dissent to the minimum and ensure only lone voices

Sounds familiar? Where else are you observing the “Tobacco Science” strategies performing in full?

Inventing Conflicts of Interest: A History of Tobacco Industry Tactics 

The Realities of Tobacco-science in Medical Research
NOVEMBER 7, 2013

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