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Talking Tobacco

Interpersonal, Organizational, and Mediated Messages


Edited By Stuart L. Esrock, Kandi L. Walker and Joy L. Hart

Despite the widely recognized toll of tobacco and increasing action to curb tobacco use (e.g., increased excise taxes, smoking bans), smoking continues. Numerous messages about tobacco, smoking, and health circulate throughout society, but in spite of the prevalence of such messages and the importance of how they are constructed and interpreted, too little communication research has been dedicated to understanding and assessing tobacco-related messages. Talking Tobacco addresses the shortcoming. Featuring the work of top communication scholars, the volume advances theoretical knowledge, reviews state-of-the-art research, and shares new findings and insights on a variety of tobacco-related areas ranging from tobacco control efforts to corporate representations.
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8 The U.S. Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, 2009: Ethical Implications for Big Tobacco’s Strategic Communication Cornelius B. Pratt


We now have an opportunity to really make a difference with what is probably the No. 1 public health concern in the nation and the world.

— Margaret A. Hamburg, commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (as cited in Harris, 2009, p. A19)

The ideal policy environment for cessation will decrease the positive cues for tobacco use, increase the negative cues, and increase the incentives, cues, and supports for quitting and never starting.

— (McGoldrick & Boonn, 2010, p. S330)

Since about the mid-20th century, when tobacco consumption became increasingly scientifically linked to ill-health, an international groundswell of antitobacco measures has pitted government health agencies and health care practitioners against transnational tobacco corporations. Among those antitobacco measures was the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), which took effect on February 27, 2005. Subsequently, some of the tobacco corporations have used strategies and tactics in their attempt to undermine or blunt the effectiveness of the convention (Bond, Daube, & Chikritzhs, 2010; Gilmore, Savell, & Collin, 2011; Liberman, 2012; Nagler & Viswanath, 2013; Weishaar et al., 2012). The political momentum of the 168 signatories of WHO FCTC focuses on protecting people from secondhand smoke; on regulating the contents of tobacco products, disclosures on tobacco products, and the packaging and labeling of such products; on educating the public about ← 116 | 117 → tobacco; on regulating tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship; and on demanding reductions in consumers’ tobacco dependence and promoting cessation in...

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