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The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health
Building capacity for a tobacco-free world
July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA
Objective: Describe Philip Morris's "Youth Smoking Prevention" programs, and discuss how these programs affect youth smoking and tobacco control efforts.
Methods: Analysis of previously secret tobacco industry documents and published tobacco industry “youth smoking prevention” program materials.
Results: Philip Morris's “Youth Smoking Prevention” programs have targeted youth directly, parents, retailers, and third parties working with youth in the past. Over time, Philip Morris has focused increasingly on communications targeting parents and retailers. These programs continue to portray smoking as an adult choice, attribute youth smoking to peer pressure and poor parenting, and fail to discuss how tobacco advertising promotes smoking. Philip Morris continues to use relationships with third parties to give its programs legitimacy with the public. Philip Morris also continues to conduct detailed studies of youth smoking behavior under the auspices of its youth smoking prevention program. Philip Morris's market research firm and employees working on youth smoking prevention also work on cigarette marketing. There is no evidence that Philip Morris's youth smoking prevention programs prevent youth smoking. Conclusion: Philip Morris's youth smoking prevention programs undermine tobacco control efforts. Philip Morris should not be allowed to run or directly fund youth programs.