National Smokers Alliance

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The National Smoker's Alliance (NSA) was formed in 1993 to protest against U.S. anti-smoking legislation. The NSA was a public relations group created and funded by the tobacco industry, which operated nationally from 1994 to 1999 to advocate for adults using tobacco products without vigorous regulation or increased tobacco taxes.[1] An early example of astroturfing, the NSA employed stealth marketing tactics to give the appearance of grassroots opposition to anti-smoking laws.[2][3]

One of the NSA's members included famed talk show host Morton Downey, Jr.;[4] however, he gave up smoking after being diagnosed with lung cancer in 1996; he died of the disease in 2001.[5]

In 1999 tobacco company Philip Morris announced that it would withdraw funding after the NSA made an ethics complaint about John McCain.[6]


  1. ^ Givel, Michael (Jun 2007). "Consent and counter-mobilization: the case of the national smokers alliance.". Journal of Health Communication. London: Taylor & Francis. 12 (4): 339–57. doi:10.1080/10810730701326002. ISSN 1081-0730. PMID 17558787. 
  2. ^ Beder, Sharon (Summer 1998). "Public Relations' Role in Manufacturing Artificial Grass Roots Coalitions". Public Relations Quarterly. Public Relations Quarterly. 43 (2): 21–3. Retrieved 23 April 2011. 
  3. ^ Freeman, Becky; Chapman, Simon (June 2007). "Is "YouTube" telling or selling you something? Tobacco content on the YouTube video-sharing website". Tobacco Control Journal. London: BMJ Group. 16 (3): 207–210. doi:10.1136/tc.2007.020024. Retrieved 23 April 2011. 
  4. ^ Gerry McCusker (2005). Talespin: public relations disasters-inside stories & lessons learnt. Kogan Page Publishers. pp. 13–14. ISBN 978-0-7494-4259-0. Retrieved 23 April 2011. 
  5. ^ "Talk-Show Pioneer Morton Downey Jr. Dies". ABC News. 13 March 2001. Retrieved 23 April 2011. 
  6. ^ Philip Morris U.S.A. Withdraws Support for National Smokers Alliance; Condemns Personal Attack On Senator McCain, Business Wire, June 29, 1999

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