Tobacco Education Center

RJR, Mike Stratton, and Efforts to Recruit Smokers (2000)

I found this document when searching the documents sent to Mike Stratton, one of the Partisan Project leaders from Colorado. I include some of the highlights related to the smokers' rights movement and clean indoor air. There is evidence of RJR recruiting and working with restaurant owners on clean indoor air, working with the National Restaurant Assn, and it mentions that RJR and Philip Morris share smoker databases. There are a number of very interesting grassroots projects also undertaken to oppose FET (Federal Excise Tax) as well and if that interests you -- I suggest looking at this doc.

Pete Bialick
GASP of Colorado

R. J. Reynolds
January 10, 1994
TO: Jim Johnston:

Following are the activities in our External Relations department for the weeks of January 3 - 7, 1993

Surgeon General - PR worked with the Institute and Philip Morris on a statement for use after the press conference on ETS and youth.

Public Affairs and PR are working with BIAD to develop material for use in conjunction with the Surgeon General's report which will focus on youth smoking, now expected to be released in late February. RJR is working with TI and PM to coordinate responses.

EPA Lawsuit - Radio clips, video b-roll and a video news release have been prepared for both win/lose scenarios on the pending decision on EPA's request that the case be dismissed. Background briefings with the AP and local media will be conducted prior to the judge's decision.

Smoking Bans - PR is drafting op-eds for business loaders in Austin, Texas and Tom Fort Smith, Ark. to argue against smoking bans proposed in those cities. Working with Corporate Affairs, PR arranged for leadership representatives to testify against the proposed ban in Austin.

National ETS Conference - Rob Meyne, manager of public affairs, and Dr. Chris Coggins, R&D toxicologist, have received several inquiries as a result of their presentations at the December 16 conference. Coggins has been invited to make a presentation to a medical college in St. Louls. They have received other inquiries asking for additional information, all as a result of viewers who watched the conference on C-Span.


RJR's smoking lounge brochure was highlighted on the Les Brown Show January 3 as an example of how employers can accommodate smokers In workplace. The brochure was shown and mentioned by an official of the Smoking Policy Institute, a Seattle group that was contracted by the EPA to write the guidance for the ETS risk assessment.

Member Contacts:

On December 18S, Bob Fackler hosted the first statewide convention of the Wisconsin Smokers' Rights Group. 45 members from 16 different communities attended. During the session, more then 100 letters were written to Senator Kohl and Reps. Kleczka and Barrett regarding FET.

Smokers' rights activists, PM workers, and tobacco growers showed up en masse to protest Governor Brereton Jones's (KY) recent statements of support for the idea of using increased tobacco taxes to help growers switch to other crops. The group protested outside an "Open Door' session where citizens can have one-on-one meetings with the governor. He met with a delegation of the protesters but did not budge from his position. The event was well-covered In the local newspapers.

In a letter to a local SRG activist, Sen. Orrin Hatch explicitly stated his opposition to increasing tobacco taxes to pay for health care reform. That's the first time a constituent has received a definite answer on this issue from Son. Hatch.

FET Media:

Florida Smokers' Rights leader Ed Huck has had his letter-to-the-editor regarding taxes, smuggling, and crime printed in four major newspapers (Tallahassee, Tampa, Orlando, and Naples).

MN Smokers' Rights Treasurer Byron Kutscher had a letter-to-the-editor regarding taxes and smuggling published In the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

SRG leaders Esther Foresman (Ocala, FL and Jackie Miller (St. Pete) have had letters to the editor published in the last week.

Coalition Efforts:

On January 6, Janet Hughes attended a training seminar sponsored by the National Restaurant Association in Atlanta. As part of the support Ramhurst is providing to NRA, Janet will hold a follow-up meeting with the seminar attendees in a few weeks. This session was the first of ten training seminars scheduled by the NRA in January.

Will Fox, a Ramhurst coordinator, will be speaking about FET at six different meetings being held in his region.


Burnsville, MN - The City Council reversed Itself and voted 6-0 to defer consideration of an ordinance that would have banned self-service pack and carton displays. The ordinance, which had passed on first reading, inspired many retailers to call, write, and visit with their city council members and the mayor. The council has decided to enforce the laws currently on the books rather than passing new legislation. We do not expect the council to consider the ordinance again this year.

Ft. Smith, AR -- Voters in Ft. Smith will decide if smoking should be banned in virtually all indoor areas of the city in a special referendum set for January 25.

J. J. Vigneault is in Ft. Smith and has put together a coalition representing restaurants, bars, convention and tourism, as well as tobacco wholesalers and retailers. J. J. is working closely with Chick Boren, the manager of the Planters Peanuts facility located in Ft. Smith which employs 500 people. Joint efforts with PM are also underway, and we will do GOTV with the combined RJR/PM smoker database.

Florida -- The proposed statewide restaurant smoking ban failed on a 5-5 vote In a House subcommittee. Ken Walton and Bert Gomez worked with RJR lobbyists to recruit restaurant owners to testify against the bill at the public hearing. The bill will come up for reconsideration in February.

Rochester, MN -- The City Council voted 6-1 against pursuing a potential smoking ban in all of the city's restaurants. They were going to pass the ban and then send a questionnaire to all the city's restaurants to see if the ban was truly having an effect on their business. However, strong opposition from local restaurant owners led them to shelve the idea altogether.

SRG Media

Dave Brenton and Fred Phillis, United Smokers Association, were on the panel of a recent "Lee Brown Show" that aired on CNN. They debated John Banzhaf and another anti-smoker on the ETS issue.

Tom C. Griscom

cc: C.W. Ehmann, , Y.W. Ford, R.R. Gordon, C.R. Hill, D.N. Lauco, J.V. Maguire, A. J Schiridler, W.W. Juchatz, J.V. Maguire, G.C. Pennell, M.B. Oglesby, A.J. Schindler, J.C. SSchroer