Smoking Ban Study, Cause-Marketing Fine Print Named "Best, Worst Prevention Ideas of the Week"
Posted Oct 21 2009 10:06pm
A study proving the health benefits of smoking bans was named Partnership for Prevention’s “Best Prevention Idea of the Week,” while the fine print attached to some corporate cause-marketing campaigns was named “Worst Prevention Idea of the Week.” The Best/Worst Idea awards are a regular feature of Prevention Matters , the blog of Partnership for Prevention. Each week, Partnership for Prevention's staff will choose the designees based on nominations of items in the previous week's news submitted by members, staff and the public at large. To submit a nomination or for more information, contact Damon Thompson at email@example.com.
A new report from the Institute of Medicine confirms that smoking bans do indeed reduce the risk of heart attacks and heart disease associated with exposure to secondhand smoke. In addition, the report, based on data from 11 key studies on heart attack rates, confirms that breathing secondhand smoke increases nonsmokers' risk for heart problems. Those studies found that the incidence of heart attacks dropped anywhere from 6 percent to 47 percent after cities, states, or even whole countries like Italy or Scotland banned indoor smoking.
Companies engaging in cause-oriented marketing are not always as generous as their products may make them seem. A recent Daily Finance article details the hurdles consumers must overcome to ensure that two cents of their pink-packaged Swiffer purchase actually reach the cause the pink box implies: according to a Procter & Gamble spokeswoman, the company will only make a two-cent donation to the National Breast Cancer Foundation if a consumer uses a coupon from Procter & Gamble's brand saver coupon book, which was distributed in newspapers on Sept. 27. Without the coupon, the limited-edition pink packaging on the Swiffer is simply designed to draw awareness to the cause. Meanwhile, stores contain many products with pink coloring and "generic" pink ribbons whose producers are not bound to the same legal checkmarks.