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Cancer Control Research

Malone, Ruth E.


Considerable evidence suggests that in addition to individual behavior change strategies, public health efforts must devote resources to changing the cultural and policy contexts of tobacco use. Advocates have therefore worked to change public perceptions not only about tobacco use, but also about the "vector of the tobacco epidemic," the tobacco industry. Thus numerous public health campaigns, including state-funded media campaigns, have included a focus on the tobacco industry and its activities in order to denormalize tobacco use and promote public support for tobacco control measures. The overall objective of this study is to retrieve and analyze internal tobacco industry documents in order to describe specific strategies and tactics the industry uses to address the challenges posed by public health/tobacco control and other campaigns that focus public attention on the behaviors of the tobacco industry ("Industry-Focused Campaigns"). The proposed research is descriptive and historical. The study design is a systematic historical/archival inquiry using publicly available textual sources, results of which will be used to develop a linked set of comparative case studies. The specific aims of the project are : 1) Retrieve and analyze internal tobacco industry documents in order to describe the tobacco industry's responses to public health/tobacco control and other campaigns that call public attention to industry behavior ("Industry-Focused Campaigns"). This analysis will focus specifically on industry internal corporate and public relations responses to such campaigns that use or threaten to use a) boycotts, b) shareholder actions, c) public demonstrations, and/or d) state-sponsored media campaigns; and 2) Using public relations theory as an underlying framework, prepare a set of case studies describing and comparing Industry-Focused Campaigns and analyzing which appear to be most effective in facilitating changes in industry behavior that address tobacco control objectives.

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