FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Channing Bete Company, Inc.'s Position on Accepting Money from Tobacco Companies for the Purchase of Smoking Prevention or Cessation Products
We at the Channing Bete Company, Inc. (CBC) have thought carefully about our position not to accept money from tobacco companies for the purchase of smoking prevention or cessation products.
We are a for-profit publisher. However, we don't want to profit from an industry that knowingly sells products that cause disease and death. One of our Company Philosophies states that we will "demonstrate the highest values possible in all relationships." We believe that funding smoking prevention or cessation efforts through the sale of tobacco products goes against this philosophy.
Apart from the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) and other state settlements with the tobacco industry, some tobacco companies are offering substantial grants for prevention and cessation efforts. However, at the same time, the tobacco industry continues to spend BILLIONS of dollars promoting its deadly products. A recent report issued by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association and American Lung Association noted that in 1998 the tobacco industry spent $6.7 billion to market its products.
The same report notes that the tobacco industry has increased promotions affecting young people. One year after the MSA, the tobacco industry upped its advertising by 33% in some magazines popular with young people. Tobacco advertising in convenience stores, where young people shop regularly, also has increased significantly.
Smokers start young. Nearly 9 in 10 adult smokers started by age 18. In the year 2000, almost 1 in 3 high school seniors was a smoker. It's impossible to put a price on the suffering and years of life those young people will lose due to tobacco-related illness, as time passes.
We realize there are differing views on this issue. Nonetheless, we at CBC feel it's time to take a stand -- and not take the money.
Note to Our Customers
We at the Channing Bete Company, Inc., have thought carefully about our position not to accept money from tobacco companies for the purchase of smoking prevention or cessation products, except those funds won through the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) and other state settlements with the tobacco industry.
We acknowledge that the decision to accept or not accept Big Tobacco money is a tough choice. Effective tobacco prevention education is critical in saving lives, and funds for these prevention programs are often scarce.
As a for-profit business, we understand the economic reality of turning down these funds. But after considering the actions of the tobacco companies in marketing such addictive and deadly products, we have decided not to take their money.
For those of you struggling with this difficult issue, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers guidance for collaboration with the private sector at www.cdc.gov/tobacco/research_data/legal_policy/accepting_fund.htm.
[Source for statistical information: Show Us the Money: An Update on the States' Allocation of the Tobacco Settlement Dollars -- A Report by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association and the American Lung Association, updated Jan. 11, 2001, http://tobaccofreekids.org/reports/settlements/.]