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If eating spinach caused cancer heart disease and ulcers immediate action would be taken to destroy the spinach supplies on grocery shelves and to ban further growing expenditure. If you would fight for the rights of growers to produce this lethal crop bar for the rights of spinach users to consume it. But the problem is not spinach. The problem is 70 million Americans spending more than 8 billion dollars yearly to buy and consume a product which is killing them by the hundreds of thousands. The problem is cigarette smoking. I'm Dr. Ralph grinder professor of health education at San Diego State College and this is one of a series of programs on the smoking dilemma. In the next few minutes we'll explore the campaigns under way to discourage cigarette smoking. Our guest today is Mr. Charles all day for who is project coordinator for smoking research San Diego. This is one of the more exciting efforts to help resolve the smoking problem. Mr. ALL Hafer in view of the almost universal acceptance of cigarette smoking by not only smokers but nonsmokers too. What kinds of programs or
campaigns could possibly work or maybe we should start here. What approaches are being tried. Well I think the first thing I'd like to point out is the mood of Congress I think is being somewhat of a mirror of the mood of the public as a whole. There are three bills currently in Congress on the cigarette problem. One is a new warning label. This would change the warning label from its current status to a stronger health threat. It would be something that as follows warning cigarettes are hazardous to health and may cause deaths from cancer and other you know from cancer or other diseases. And I think the second bill would require this in all forms of advertising not only radio on television but in all forms of printed media and a health warning and advertise Yes and it's done under the idea that kids junior high school kids particularly see more television advertising for example into adults.
It's about two to one ratio. And if a kid already wants a cigarette. He is going to bother reading this on a package because he's already been motivated to want to cigarette. So would see intention I believe of the people sponsoring this bill their kids seeing it on advertising would be more influenced by him. Now you mention a third bill what's this third one all about. Well the third bill is a sliding tax on cigarettes and miscalibrated to the amount of tar nicotine I have it would give the current tax rate of about $4 per thousand two cigarettes that are under 15 milligrams of tar and nicotine by volume and it would increase going up the scale as cigarettes because. TAR So if you are buying cigarettes with more current nicotine you expect to pay more for it. That's right. Now is there any hope that that these measures will work. Well I think so I think the the warning label in advertising is mute
with great alarm by the tobacco industry because this is make advertising self-defeating you can't have the idyllic scene you know with a couple hand in hand wandering off in the woods you know for the romance of seem pretty silly the idea that cigarettes may cause a death from cancer and I think this is why this is going on. Now the program you're involved in smoking research San Diego has nothing to do directly with this legislation. What kinds of programs are you involved in. Are they educational in nature. Yes on the strictly educational. The approach in San Diego was that we need some reinforcement in the past good programming been done but even isolated ones like one huge level maybe junior high school students in a large city would get a tremendously concentrated program by the Cancer Society telling all these kids. Cigarettes are bad for their health but it's more or less like shooting a bullet in a mattress because it's under supported by the real world around this you know high school
the teachers small the parents smoke and the advertising It was the upshot of it is that there has been no real change you're in sand you're trying to come at the community from many many different angles to the physicians you know us through the mass media through the newsgroup media and through community organizations from all over he was trying to reinforce this idea that there is something about cigarette smoking that just. Is Next up let me see if I have this straight what you're trying to do in San Diego is enlist the help of as many people as you can. As for reducing the support for cigarette smoking community wide we're not just using isolated target groups but trying to do this across the board. That's right. Good grief I don't really organize a thing like that where I'm standing with the county medical society's accepted a grant to upwards of a million dollars from the public schools service in this way the county medical society becomes more or less
where we are the legal agent for the project and what happens here is done by due concern County Medical Society. There are 10 other organizations involved in this and they're using their organizational structure as a framework and organizations like the Heart Association the Cancer Society the part of public health these kinds of areas a TB in health in the school city and county and. The other PGA the new medical schools involved in the CDL society so is a very credible story is Asians you know what kinds of things are you doing can you give us some examples of programs that you're undertaking across this community and with this community wide approach. Well OK I'll start with the physicians because I think their role in this is the paramount interest of the physicians are starting with the hospitals they feel that if the doctors workbench is clean that they have a better chance of doing things with the
community and well let me know it seemed very significant to them in the street the physicians like to have hospital stop selling cigarettes because here the hospital is indorsing the sale of cigarettes. Nothing the docs are doing is to provide it. Signings for physicians offices a waiting rooms. Yeah yeah I think they're very soft silly see for your health seeking the comfort of others please not smoke. Yeah and this is another way of bringing for us a physician's objection to smoking. I noticed a little sign in your office the other day that something like the cigarette machine has been removed because we love you or because we love you. The cigarette machine is no longer available. How did this thing it started. Oh you know this well this is a part of the hospital room going this is to be put up with a hospital removing my things it's a little placard says go in because we love you in the OEM vending machine and dotted relief. And so I can do things you know and I have things like bumper stickers lapel buttons.
Well we've kind of steered away from the beginning approach because each day then you have to exceed yourself. And of course these things have little credibility to you know it smacks of a promotional campaign what we're after is a longer term changes in behavior that really don't come about by the commercial gimmickry. There are some bust cards now the mass media people would put up on the city busses and these are exposed to about 20 million writers a year so it's a highly significant audience but it's a soft sell thing. What about mass media. Have you plugged in radio television newspapers other mass media in the community in this project. Yes the papers securely helpfully carried quite a large amount of information about the project about smoking in general. The television stations are carrying a spot produced by a series of spots rather produced by
the project. One features you will not regret is a tremendous surfer and you. We spot shows great coming out of a large wave over why we when this do go on a big wave championship and he is talking in voiceover about surfing and he says to be even surfer you have to have confidence and confidence comes from lung power a lot of surfers a few will lose confidence because afraid of getting wiped out by a big wave and Eleanor. So improve your long story suggests you do running water skiing swimming scuba diving and of course no smoking. So it was a very soft seller doesn't he mention this whole thing or just goes into the fitness for how you organize how do you get a community like San Diego united behind something and vicious as changing smoking attitudes and behavior how do you organize this kind of thing. Well you know I believe you're still in the process of finding out how you are had said I think you get the end of the five
years will still be in a constant state of metamorphosis on this this project started with the 70 agencies now it's moved up to 11 and I think this is the axis in which it's built. The agencies have to get behind it and stake your reputation and their initiative. But beyond that I think the key is to find people in the community who reflect the mainstream of thought. We've had considerable luck I think with obtaining people who have smoked and we're in for people who are smoking in this in the audience were after I think you get a more credible source these people are more tolerant of the difficulties people with whom you know giving up smoking the years when you know they get a large percentage of the so-called do gooders who are out to sell a demon cigarette. They have much of the we don't you know I think that this is one of the gratifying parts of this project that we have most of our people are at the
mainstream of community thought they have cigarette smokers involved in the project. Oh yes. And they view some of them contributed a great deal just the fact that a person can't quit cigarettes bouncing from participating in the project. Are you doing anything with youngsters. Yes of course this is part of your list telling you about floods here. You know I'm playing straight man. Go ahead. Yes we're trying to do a good program is possible in the schools but I think the broader view of the project is to support what schools on the screw of the ultimate you know the kids will see of the real living in a real world and the adults are really concerned about this as they sense that adults are concerned about smoking and are stopping themselves. They are less likely to pick up the habit. This is the hope right. I think you've got two choices you've got. One is to tell kids that adults are hypocrites because they smoke and encourage more of the semi interview we have doing now you know to increase even rebellion factor were the other way
around is to influence adults to the point that they realize that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. And what they do greatly influences your kids and you get a lot of resistance I suppose this kind of thing. What what's the source of the resistance who resists the kind of things you're trying to do. And what's the nature of that resistance. No everybody I think it's human nature to resist change you know. I mean this book is getting angry because you're trying to change what they're doing. Some do yes and I think the most important motivations for adults to quit are one do you want your kids to smoke you know into a play of this exemplary role because some were not much influenced by the health Ingle really don't want their kids to smoke. Most parents moved in with the kids to smoke so here's one motivating point that we haven't used much gentlemen who are quitting cigarettes much faster than women are. There's been a considerable drop in meal smoking habits in this country. The mastery thing influences him. They don't like to be dominated by habit and ascetics and economics actually come earlier to the whole
thing. How do you know whether you the fact they were not there you have a valuation built into the program I would have a lot of time but could you outline briefly what how you are evaluating the success of your efforts. Well the start of the program we did a sample of twenty five hundred adults with a 43 page interview questionnaire. And this takes about two hours to complete. Between our having two hours this will be repeated again at the end of the project this will be our basic guideline. The same questionnaire was using a national sample in Syracuse New York. So have two other areas to compare with the national sample in Syracuse and we've also done a sample of about 13000 teachers administrators and students and saying you know public improve your schools and use also forms a baseline so they will be able to tell whether there's been much change over the five year period. That's right a person to kind of a community is where other kinds of programs have enjoyed or comparing to the national sample I would presume. Nothing of this order has been going on.
That's right I don't think that the cigarette tax inventory would work because here we have Mexico so most of self and all of the cigarette tax going up 10 cents a pack a lot of people are going to want to buy cigarettes. So we have to rely on a baseline instrument like yeah. The project is quite ambitious and there are a lot of angles to it. Thanks very much for meeting with us today Mr. altie for the problem of cigarette smoking and certainly a serious problem of great magnitude calling for both in powerful action and I think your group is beginning to do that. You have been listening to the smoking dilemma with Dr. Ralph grounder professor of health education at San Diego State College. His guest was Mr. Charles L.T. for Project Coordinator of smoking research San Diego. This program was produced by Katy B S FM at the Radio Television Center at San Diego State College. This is the national educational radio network.
The smoking dilemma
The Campaigns
Producing Organization
San Diego State University
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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For series info, see Item 3735. This prog.: The Campaigns. Charles Althafer.
Public Affairs
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Producing Organization: KEBS
Producing Organization: San Diego State University
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-42-7 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
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Duration: 00:14:32
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Chicago: “The smoking dilemma; The Campaigns,” 1968-11-08, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 27, 2024,
MLA: “The smoking dilemma; The Campaigns.” 1968-11-08. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 27, 2024. <>.
APA: The smoking dilemma; The Campaigns. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from