Healthy Kids Debate: Great Moments in RJ Reynolds Marketing

Charlie Burr

If you own a television, you've probably seen the tobacco industry's blizzard of ads opposing the Healthy Kids Plan. In addition to shattering all campaign spending records, opponents bring decades of marketing experience to the fight.

For example, here's a golden oldie, brought to you by the good folks at RJ Reynolds:

Today's No on 50 tobacco-sponsored ads try to muddy the waters, but the issue's pretty simple: Measure 50 expands health coverage to more than 100,000 uninsured children. It is supported by the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association, and the AARP; opposed by manufacturers of a product that kills you. The cost of covering all kids? Bringing cigarette prices up to Washington state levels.

Do we want to take care of all of Oregon's children and ensure that students show up to school ready to learn? If your answer is yes, here's how you can make the difference this close election:

Healthy Kids Canvass This Weekend

What: Yes on 50 Grass-roots Canvass

When: Saturday, October 13th at 10 a.m.

Where: 1125 SE Madison, Portland

R.S.V.P.: 503-239-8800 or [email protected]

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    Wow, Charlie, that's amazing. Thanks!

  • Billy Joe (unverified)

    This ad is hilarious. Who would have guessed that a childrens's cartoon was sponsored by a cigarette company?

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    RJ Reynolds = Yabba dabba douchebags

  • James X. (unverified)

    There are also plenty of ads saying things like doctors have proven cigarettes are safe, more doctors smoke Camels, or cigarettes help you sing operas. Perhaps a Measure 50 ad could use the best lines from these in demonstrating that tobacco companies have a long history of lying in their ads, and that they're doing it again.

  • Aaron V. (unverified)

    Notice that the dirty names of R.J. Reynolds and Philip Morris/Altria are nowhere to be found in the Voters' Pamphlet - it's all "Oregonians Against the Blank Check".

    The only "Blank Check" around is the blank check to medical providers from the health problems smoking causes and to funeral directors that smoking-related deaths cause.

    The cocaine dealer who sold coke that eventually killed a Lincoln High grad was convicted under the Len Bias law, yet the real killers, the tobacco companies, are ignored. That's what Big Tobacco money buys - immunity from being held accountable for the death and misery your product brings.

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    and, if you haven't seen the movie that came out in 2005/6 Thank you for Smoking yet, it sheds a lot of light on what's going on in the tobacco industry. Would be great if we could get one of the local stations to play it in the next couple of weeks. Wishful thinking, I know - but anyone have pull at one of the Traditional TV Media Outlets?

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    I forgot to mention, it's hilarious, ze movie, Thank you for not smoking...

  • freethink (unverified)

    Democrat Hypocrisy on Measure 50:

    Fact: Democrats in the Oregon Legislature are responsible for referring Measure 50 to voters.

    Fact: The Oregon Democratic Principles and Actions statement (page 4) states: "The tax code should be progressive, with the greatest contribution coming from those with the greatest financial means."

    Fact: The cigarette tax Measure 50 proposes is regressive, and takes a larger percentage of income from low-income groups than from high-income groups.

    Fact: The Oregon Democratic Principles and Actions statement (page 4) provides that "the tax and revenue system should be fair and provide stable and adequate revenue to fund the services today and for the growth of tomorrow."

    Fact: Measure 50 imposes a tax that only 1 in 5 Oregonians will pay. The Oregon Legislative Fiscal Office has officially stated the tobacco tax Measure 50 proposes cannot sustain the Healthy Kids program.

    Fact: Websters dictionary defines a hypocrite as "a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings.

    The point: It is hypocritical for Democrats who profess belief in a progressive tax structure to support Measure 50. Now clearly, not all Democrats believe in a progressive tax structure and consequently it can't be categorically stated that all Democrats are hypocrites for supporting Measure 50. It can, however, be fairly stated that the majority of Democrats in the Oregon Legislature are hypocrites for campaigning on a Principals and Action statement professing belief in a progressive tax structure and then turning around and passing Measure 50, which imposes one of the most regressive taxes imaginable.

  • Mike Schryver (unverified)

    I got the voters' pamphlet yesterday, and it was astounding to see the opposition statements planted by the tobacco companies repeating the lies over and over again. I hope most people can see through them.

    Regarding "The Flintstones", though, it wasn't seen as a children's cartoon. Most of the time, I was asleep before it came on at 8:30.

  • alijane (unverified)

    I saw one of those old Flintstone cartoons late one night. Fred's boss was smoking a cigar, I saw those cartoons as a child and do not remember them smoking, meybe we just didn't think about it then like we do today.

    I remember doctors hocking Cool menthol cigarettes too as being soothing and refreshing. The AMA and the cigarette companies used to be in bed together. Old magazines are full of AMA endorsements for cigarettes.

  • James X. (unverified)

    Smoking images used to be fairly common in cartoons.

  • Kurt Chapman (unverified)

    The BIG Lie is that taxing tobacco can fully fund this over priced venture. The support comments in the VP are laughable. Fully one third are vindictive towards Big Tobacco. I have no problem w/that, just don't try to sell us on funding an exponentially expanding program with a 70 percent tax increase on a diminishing resource (the tax).

    Healthcare for all is commendable. Taxing tobacco is neither the vehicle or the platform upon which to base this.

  • Mike Farmer (unverified)

    I taught school for 33 years. I was amazed how many children that had been out sick for weeks at a time often smelled of cigarette smoke when they returned to the classroom.

  • Mike Farmer (unverified)
    <h2>I taught school for 33 years. I was amazed how many children that had been out sick for weeks at a time often smelled of cigarette smoke when they returned to the classroom.</h2>

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