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Table 1 Social Acceptability Working Party Projects, 1978–1981

From: Tobacco industry issues management organizations: Creating a global corporate network to undermine public health

Project Title, Year(s) Description Outcome(s)
Public smoking position paper, 1978 44 page paper (drafted by US law firm) arguing secondhand smoke is not harmful to nonsmokers and regulation is unnecessary [62]. • Ratified by member companies, distributed to NMAs [263, 264].
• Updated regularly [136].
11 nation public opinion survey, 1978 Eleven country survey of attitudes on the social acceptability of smoking [265]. • Results presented at NMA workshop in 1979 [266].
• Data, analyses distributed to NMAs [266].
NMA workshops, 1979–1991 Meetings for NMA representatives to exchange information and strategies [75, 267]. Offered yearly [268, 269].
Social costs/social values study, 1978–1981 A project to:
• provide NMAS with arguments to counter WHO's assertion that smoking imposed a social cost on society [270].
• document social benefits of smoking [270].
• "drive a wedge" between "anti" and non-smokers [271].
• May 1981 conference at University of Pennsylvania on cost/benefit analysis of the regulation of consumer products, with 6 of 8 speakers industry consultants [270, 272]; only 22 of 10,000 invitees attended [273].
• Proceedings published in book form [274].
• Training program for NMAs to produce data on social benefits of smoking [270].
• Publication of "The Social Costs of Smoking" in Policy Review [275].
• Development of scientific experts (e.g., Dr. Stephen Littlechild, University of Birmingham, UK) [270, 275].
Fourth World Conference on Smoking and Health Task Force, 1978–1979 Committee to prepare for and monitor conference in order to minimize its impact [59]. • Prepared biographies of speakers and background papers on advertising, public smoking, and smoking and health for NMAs and member companies [276–278].
• Arranged for scientific consultants to attend conference [279].
• Monitored the conference and briefed ICOSI members [279].
• Prepared final conference summary [280].
Third World Working Committee, 1978–1979 Subcommittee of 4th World Conference Task Force on Smoking and Health formed to identify and refute likely accusations by conference participants regarding tobacco and the Third World [281]. • Provided background papers to NMAs [83].
• Commissioned UK Economist Intelligence Unit study on the role of tobacco growing in Third World development [282].
Project Mayfly, 1980–1981 Project to develop template for NMA public relations and communication campaigns to "influence, modify, or change public opinion to [sic] the industry, smokers and smoking" [283–285]. Field trials conducted in Australia and New Zealand considered successful [286, 287].
Space restrictions on smoking, 1980 Project to collect and analyze information on public and work place smoking restrictions to help NMAs defend right to smoke in public [78]. Conducted survey of 14 NMAs; results presented at 1980 workshop [288].
Allies project, 1980 Project to identify potential tobacco industry allies and develop strategies to encourage them to defend industry positions [78, 272]. Due to overlap with areas covered by other working parties (i.e., advertising, developing countries), project reassigned to those groups [288].