Interpersonal, Organizational, and Mediated Messages
Edited By Stuart L. Esrock, Kandi L. Walker and Joy L. Hart
6 Blowing Smoke: The Flawed Process of the Tobacco Industry’s “Junk Science” Discourse Edward Panetta, Ryan Galloway, and Donald L. Rubin
Asubstantial body of media stories (Mishra, 1998; Phelps, 1998; “RJR Destroyed,” 1998) as well as public health scholarship (Bero, 2003; Ong & Glantz, 2001; Samet & Burke, 2001; Yach & Bialous, 2001) over the past decade has examined the extensive corpus of internal tobacco industry documents disclosed to the public as a result of civil litigation. A significant portion of that inquiry has discovered a pattern of public statements on the part of the tobacco industry to deny government regulation of smoking as a significant health concern. Analyses of tobacco industry documents demonstrate well-orchestrated, multifaceted campaigns to discredit scientific findings adverse to industry interests (Ong & Glantz, 2001).
Each successive Surgeon General report warning of health risks from smoking was greeted by a barrage of press releases attempting to refute the conclusions (Mishra, 1998). The argumentative claims of the tobacco industry were developed in response to the discourse of health promotion specialists embedded in the changing social climate in the United States; for example, a climate that condemned smoking for impinging on the rights of nonsmokers to avoid secondhand smoke (Stokes & Rubin, 2010). Despite the fact that the tobacco controversy has persisted for several decades, the industry’s responses to antismoking campaigns have in many senses remained quite static (Bero, 2005). Tobacco companies have ← 81 | 82 → engaged in a largely repetitive strategy of fallacious arguments designed to obscure scientific evidence demonstrating the dangers of cigarette smoking. Scientific arguments have been derided on almost every level, with indictments of...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.