Article

The perimetric boycott: a tool for tobacco control advocacy.

University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.
Tobacco control (Impact Factor: 5.15). 09/2005; 14(4):272-7. DOI: 10.1136/tc.2005.011247
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To propose criteria to help advocates: (1) determine when tobacco related boycotts may be useful; (2) select appropriate targets; and (3) predict and measure boycott success.
Analysis of tobacco focused boycotts retrieved from internal tobacco industry documents websites and other scholarship on boycotts.
Tobacco related boycotts may be characterised by boycott target and reason undertaken. Most boycotts targeted the industry itself and were called for political or economic reasons unrelated to tobacco disease, often resulting in settlements that gave the industry marketing and public relations advantages. Even a lengthy health focused boycott of tobacco industry food subsidiaries accomplished little, making demands the industry was unlikely to meet. In contrast, a perimetric boycott (targeting institutions at the perimeter of the core target) of an organisation that was taking tobacco money mobilised its constituency and convinced the organisation to end the practice.
Direct boycotts of the industry have rarely advanced tobacco control. Perimetric boycotts of industry allies offer advocates a promising tool for further marginalising the industry. Successful boycotts include a focus on the public health consequences of tobacco use; an accessible point of pressure; a mutual interest between the target and the boycotters; realistic goals; and clear and measurable demands.

0 Followers
 · 
67 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Calls for institutional investors to divest (sell off) tobacco stocks threaten the industry's share values, publicise its bad behaviour, and label it as a politically unacceptable ally. US tobacco control advocates began urging government investment and pension funds to divest as a matter of responsible social policy in 1990. Following the initiation of Medicaid recovery lawsuits in 1994, advocates highlighted the contradictions between state justice departments suing the industry, and state health departments expanding tobacco control programmes, while state treasurers invested in tobacco companies. Philip Morris (PM), the most exposed US company, led the divestment opposition, consistently framing the issue as one of responsible fiscal policy. It insisted that funds had to be managed for the exclusive interest of beneficiaries, not the public at large, and for high share returns above all. This paper uses tobacco industry documents to show how PM sought to frame both the rhetorical contents and the legal contexts of the divestment debate. While tobacco stock divestment was eventually limited to only seven (but highly visible) states, US advocates focused public attention on the issue in at least 18 others plus various local jurisdictions. This added to ongoing, effective campaigns to denormalise and delegitimise the tobacco industry, dividing it from key allies. Divestment as a delegitimisation tool could have both advantages and disadvantages as a tobacco control strategy in other countries.
    Tobacco control 07/2006; 15(3):231-41. DOI:10.1136/tc.2005.015321 · 5.15 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Smoking prevalence in the LGBT community exceeds that in nearly all other demographic groups. In 2001, we undertook a four-year research project to study tobacco industry targeting of the lesbian and gay community. We researched formerly-secret tobacco industry internal documents, analyzed tobacco content in the gay press, interviewed leaders of LGBT organizations, and conducted focus groups with LGBT smokers and nonsmokers. We found that in the early 90s, tobacco companies began to advertise in the gay press and to sponsor community organizations. Many LGBTs viewed this attention as a sign that the community was becoming visible and more acceptable, and did not consider tobacco a "gay issue". The queer press normalized smoking. Images of tobacco, most conveying positive or neutral messages, were common. We found that many ads for products other than cigarettes glamorized smoking, and many articles having nothing to do with smoking were illustrated with tobacco use images. Very few LGBT publications had policies against accepting tobacco ads. We recommend activities that promote a community dialogue about the real costs of accepting tobacco industry advertising and funding. Understanding how alcohol and other drugs became seen as gay-specific community concerns could be helpful. Finding ways to challenge the views of some young gay people—that most queers smoke—might make it easier to help them remain smokefree. Perhaps a greater understanding of the coming out process—in which one's authentic self challenges societal norms—could help arm young people with the strength to resist tobacco. Finally, one of the lessons of the larger LGBT movement itself—the importance of holding institutions accountable for the harm they cause—might help the community stop thinking of smoking as a personal issue, and think of it instead as a systemic issue, with a culpable industry at the heart of the problem.

Preview

Download
1 Download
Available from