The first webinar in this series focuses on educating the general public and lawmakers about tobacco industry interference. Two specific recommendations from the U.S. Tobacco Industry Interference Index 2020 – raising awareness and employing available resources – will be addressed by experts on these topics.
Recognizing the problem is the first step to solving it. Raising awareness of tobacco industry interference in lawmaking should be considered a key component of the comprehensive tobacco control “vaccine.” Advocates can employ learned media strategies such as press events, op-eds and letters to the editor to highlight the impact of past and present tobacco industry interference. The corrective statements required by the racketeering verdict against the top U.S. tobacco companies will do little good without corrective action. It’s important for public health leaders and state and local tobacco control coalitions to educate the public and lawmakers on how tobacco industry lies have misinformed public policy for decades. Existing fact sheets, resolutions, infographics, and social media resources can be adapted as needed to disseminate key findings from the ongoing federal racketeering case, relevant quotes from internal tobacco industry documents, and other helpful information.
Megan Arendt, Associate Director of Communications at Action on Smoking and Health
Ann Boonn, Director of Research at the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
Barbara Schillo, Senior Vice President at the Truth Initiative Schroeder Institute
Julie Bisbee, Executive Director at the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust