Universities and Tobacco

An Insidious Obstacle to Tobacco Control

Recruiting the Next Generation of Nicotine Pushers

Little attention has been paid by health organizations to the ongoing involvement by cigarette manufacturers Altria (Philip Morris USA, makers of the number one brand Marlboro, and Reynolds American, maker of Newport, Camel, and Winston) in career centers at major universities and at job fairs held on their campuses twice each year. In the 21st century, these have included the University of Virginia, the University of North Carolina, the University of Georgia, the University of Alabama, the University of Texas, the University of Arizona, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Kansas, the University of Washington, and dozens of others. At these job fairs, recruiters tout the companies’ integrity and social responsibility and insist that cigarettes are marketed only to adults who already smoke The companies seek public relations and marketing majors, athletes, debate team members, women, and minorities to become territory sales managers, which consists of restocking tobacco products in convenience stores , drug stores, and supermarkets in a defined geographic area. These college graduates thus continue the cycle of promoting nicotine addiction via cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, and e-cigarettes to the poorest and the least educated.