- [CCAA REQUEST FOR RESPONSIBLE
AND ETHICAL BUSINESS PRACTICES]
- May 13, 1999
- CONTACT: Scott Goold at 505.293.2504
- Sent to:
- Giant Refining Co.
- Corporate Office
- Attn: Mike Polo, Tobacco Marketing
- 23733 N. Scottsdale Rd
- Scottsdale, AZ 85255
Dear Mr. Polo:
I direct a tobacco-reduction coalition here in New Mexico as well as serve
with a number of other entities dedicated to reducing teenage smoking initiation.
I would like to emphasize that we are not tobacco prohibitionists. We respect
the adult priviledge of using tobacco -- although we encourage responsible
We devote a tremendous amount of time to reducing the amount of tobacco
advertising in our community. While it may not be the specific intention
of the tobacco industry or of local companies like Giant, advertising does
work and it is extremely effective and attractive to our kids. A 1998 study
published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found
that 34% of teen experimentation with smoking is directly attributable
to tobacco advertising and promotion.
| Businesses know...
Kids Don't Understand
We are learning more about the effects of tobacco advertising each day. According to
speakers at a World Conference for Cancer Organizations meeting this week in Atlanta, Georgia, lung
cancer rates are following tobacco advertising around the world.
In Western countries, where restrictions on marketing have tightened, lung
cancer rates have declined. But in developing countries,
particularly in those where women didn't previously smoke, lung
cancer rates are increasing.
According to Michael Thun, vice president of the American Cancer Society, tobacco advertising is
one reason lung cancer has overtaken stomach cancer as the
leading cancer killer worldwide. "Rates have begun to fall in
North America and northern Europe but are rising rapidly in
southern Europe, Japan, Asia and developing countries and among
women," said Thun. Epidemiology professor Witold Zatonski of
Poland says that tobacco advertising in many countries is so
attractive because it promotes the American dream.
We were watching your company as the April 23rd deadline for removing
tobacco billboard advertising neared. We were disappointed that your company
did not respect the terms of the settlement.
I initially reported the violation to our Attorneys General office.
They followed up by submitting the information to the national office.
In addition, I have been working with ABC News, Good Morning America,
about the incident. It is my understanding that they will cover your company's
activities, as well as those of the Wawa convenience store located in a
number of eastern states, tomorrow morning (Friday, May 14th).
I wanted to alert you to this program as well as to our action. We have
posted a story about your company's ads on our coalition Web site (here).
We have included a similar story on the MASCOT coalition Web site (here).
We wish to emphasize that we will do what we can to help your company prosper
in this area. We respect ethical businesses. Yet, we are committed to protecting
our children, whether from gun play, violence or legal and illegal drugs.
We are asking your company to reflect about its role in our community.
Making money is an important part of the American way of life. Yet, there
must be ethical restraints to these endeavors. We ask that you do not consider
future billboard tobacco advertising. In addition, we would appreciate
it greatly if you would reevaluate your company's position on the amount
of tobacco advertising throughout convenience stores in general.
I was in a Giant facility the other day taking pictures of the amount
of advertising. The tobacco companies are aware that the advertising of
these products does not entice smokers to switch brands. Therefore, these
efforts must be to encourage initiation. It is your responsibility to ensure
that the advertising does not influence underage youth. Can you tell me
your company is meeting this ethical obligation?
I would love to open a dialogue with you regarding this area. Please
feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience.