Two national essay contests are being held regarding smoking; both sides in the cigarette fight say they are holding their contest to increase public awareness of the issue. In Oct. 1986 the Philip Morris Companies announced a contest with a $15,000 grand prize and winners in each state for essays answering how an advertising ban on tobacco products would affect "the future of free expression in a free market economy."
A spokesman for the NY-based maker of Marlboro cigarettes said the contest was in response to a call made by the American Medical Association (AMA) for a ban on all tobacco advertising except at the point of sale.
On Nov. 3, 1986 a physicians' organization, Doctors Ought to Care, announced their contest with a $1,000 top prize. Their contest, aimed primarily at law students, asks, "Are tobacco company executives criminally liable for the deaths, diseases and fires that their products cause?"
In broadest terms, tobacco raises questions about car manufacturers who knowingly sell unsafe products to
an unsuspecting public, chemical company executives who sell products they know will pollute the
environment when they are discarded, and pesticide executives who convince farmers of the need for
dangerous chemicals they know will end up contaminating mothers' milk and everyone's morning cup of
--Peter Montague, Ph.D.
Descriptor terms: tobacco; public participation; public health; philip morris companies; ama; advertising; marlboro; production; liability; cancer; fires; pesticides; cigarettes;