Secret marketing documents obtained in a landmark lawsuit that charged the RJ Reynolds tobacco company with targeting children and resulted in the demise of the Joe Camel advertising campaign are now available on the world wide web, together with an analysis of the documents.
The Tobacco Control Archives, an online resource of the UCSF Library/Center for Knowledge Management (CKM), now includes the publication "A Review of RJ Reynolds" Internal Documents Produced in Mangini v. RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company (RJR) -- The Case that Rid California and the American Landscape of "Joe Camel" and over 2,000 pages of internal documents created by the tobacco company --To make informed decisions regarding current tobacco issues, the public must have access to this information which illuminates the business practices of the tobacco industry," said Robin L. Chandler, Head of Archives and Special Collections at the UCSF Library/CKM.
The report, prepared by lawyers that helped force RJR to abandon the campaign, demonstrate how the tobacco company studied the reasons people start smoking and the smoking patterns of children, said Chandler. Based on this secret research, the company developed advertising and promotional campaigns targeting children and encouraging them to smoke Camel cigarettes, the suit charged.
In 1991, RJR, the nation's second largest tobacco company, was publicly charged in the Journal of American Medical Association with targeting minors through its Joe Camel campaign. Later that year, Janet Mangini, a San Francisco family law attorney brought suit to end the campaign, becoming the first person to legally challenge the tobacco industry for targeting minors with its advertising. In May 1997, the City and County of San Francisco, together with the cities of Los Angeles, San Jose and ten additional California counties intervened in the suit to help end the Joe Camel campaign.
Prior to the December 1997 trial date, the case was settled. Two important components of the settlement were RJR's agreement to terminate Joe Camel campaign and the public release of RJR's internal documents regarding youth marketing and the Joe Camel campaign.
The internet address to access the report and documents is http://www.library.ucsf.edu/tobacco/mangini/.
The Mangini documents join approximately 10,000 pages of previously secret documents from the Brown and Williamson Tobacco Company that UCSF posted on the web on July 1, 1995, after the University successfully thwarted a lawsuit by Brown and Williamson to prevent publication of the documents.
"In contrast to recent releases of documents by the tobacco industry and the House Commerce Committee on the web, the Mangini documents are in a form that facilitates downloading them and understanding what they mean," according to Stanton Glantz, PhD, professor of medicine at UCSF who worked with the Library on the project.
"We hope to continue UCSF's leadership in making tobacco documents available to the public in a useful form" added Chandler.
The mission of the UCSF Library/CKM is to advance science and foster excellence in teaching and learning and to promote health through the collection, development, organization and dissemination of the world's health sciences knowledge base.
The Tobacco Control Archives, established in 1994, provides a centralized source of information about the grass-roots tobacco control movement in California, the people and organizations involved, and the resulting legislation generated. A central focus of the archive has been the documentation of Proposition 99, the tobacco tax initiative passed by voters in 1989.
The above story is based on materials provided by University Of California, San Francisco. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
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