2004 No Wine Shop

2003 Philadelphia Alcohol Billboard Ban

Stop Liquor Ads on NBC

2002 Community Partners

Swisher Ain't Sweet

Marlboro Mild

1998 African Amer. & Tobacco Settlement

1998 African Amer. Tobacco Ind. Lawsuit

1997 Say No to Menthol Joe

1996 Hands off Halloween

1995 X Cigarette

1994 World No Tobacco Day Activities

1993 Defeat of PowerMaster Malt Liquor

1990 Uptown Coalition



March-April 2002
Vol. 3 No. 1

In this issue:

SWISHER AIN'T SWEET (Industry promotes little cigars in menthol)
STOP LIQUOR ADS ON NBC (Network plans to air hard liquor ads)


Promotion of menthol-flavored little cigar is the latest example of the industry's targeted marketing.

"It just doesn't get any sweeter than this" is how Swisher International, Inc. bills its Swisher Sweets Little Cigars in menthol. JET magazine advertised the little cigars in several issues in 2001. NAAAPI observed the promotion, queried advocates around the country about product placement and launched the "Swisher Ain't Sweet" campaign.

When tobacco advocates convened in November for the 2001 National Conference on Tobacco OR Health in New Orleans, NAAAPI and tobacco control advocates, staged a rally at a nearby Walgreens Pharmacy. It was led by Reverend Jesse Brown, NAAAPI Executive Director, who had earlier held a press conference. The Walgreens carried the Swisher Sweets Little Cigars on its shelves. The store manger agreed, temporarily, to remove the product from the shelf. Bishop S.C. Carthen , an African American leader in the tobacco control movement from Sacramento, California was quoted as saying to the store manager" Sir, you have earned my respect".

Unfortunately, NAAAPI has learned, that the Walgreens where the rally was held has put Swisher Sweets in menthol back on the shelf. Marvin R. Young, part of the tobacco control movement in New Orleans, spoke with the store manager who advised him that he had to follow the directives of his supervisors.

The "Swisher Ain't Sweet" campaign continues. Contact NAAAPI at info@naaapi.org or 215-235-6488 for a campaign action kit. More information on tobacco and African Americans can be found on the NAAAPI website at .


NBC reverses decision to air hard liquor ads after pressure from health advocates

In December 2001, NBC was to become the first broadcast network to air hard liquor commercials. They had entered into a multi-million dollar contract with Guiness UDV to run four months of public service announcements about drinking before advertising a product on NBC. Guiness makes Bailey's Irish Cream, Smirnoff vodka, Johnny Walker scotch, Jose Cuervo tequila, Captain Morgan rum, Crown Royal Canadian whisky and Tanqueray gin.

In response to this action, NAAAPI mobilized organizations around the country to form a national campaign. The campaign, called "Stop Liquor Ads on NBC" includes, but is not limited to: Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), Pennsylvania Mothers Against Drunk Driving (PA-MADD), Blacks Against Drunk Driving (BADD), National Black Alcoholism and Addictions Council (NBAAC), American Medical Association (AMA), American Public Health Association (APHA), Pacific Institute on Research and Evaluation (PIRE), Pennsylvanians Against Underage Drinking (PAUD), National Association of EMS Physicians (NAEMSP), Partnership for a Drug-Free Detroit (PDFD), and Community Recovery Services (Berkley, CA).

Community groups and organizations met with and/or held rallies at local NBC affiliates around the country to express their concern about the ads. Members of congress, including Representatives Frank Wolf (R-VA) and Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.) sent a letter to NBC executives criticizing the network's actions. On March 21, NBC announced that they would not air the hard liquor ads as planned.

The campaign continues to work on this issue. For the latest on what's happening, contact NAAAPI at info@naaapi.org or call 215-235-6488. The NAAAPI website has more detail on the history of the advertising of hard liquor ads on television. The NAAAPI website is .


2001 National Conference on Tobacco OR Health Conference exceeded previous conferences in attendees and presenters.
New Orleans, Louisiana was host to 3000 tobacco use prevention and health advocates for the 2001 National Conference on Tobacco OR Health. Diane Hargrove Roberson, Director of Tobacco Control for Louisiana was a member of the planning committee and Mistress of Ceremony at the opening plenary session. About 10 percent of the attendees were African American, based on the conference evaluations. Here's what some of them had to say:

"This was my first national tobacco control conference. The exhibit hall had a lot of resources that I could use in Charlotte. I liked getting involved in the "Swisher Ain't Sweet" campaign as it brought grassroots activism to a national conference."
-George Crawford, former Project Coordinator, Mecklenburgh County Project ASSIST (Charlotte, NC)

"I have liked other national conferences better. There was a lack of adequate space for the breakout sessions. Since registration was high, I would have liked better arrangements."
-Theresa Wallace, Program Administrator, Tri-County Tobacco Reduction Coalition (Detroit, MI)

Editor's comments: The conference had a significant number of African American attendees. Most of the presentations made by African Americans were in the area of health disparities. However, many African Americans have expertise in a variety of areas including research and program evaluation. Hopefully, African Americans have submitted abstracts that reflect proficiencies in these and other areas for the 2002 conference.

2001 African American Tobacco Control Conference in Pennsylvania "Continuing the Legacy: Health and Empowerment"
The Pennsylvania Governor's Commission on African American Affairs and the Pennsylvania Department of Health sponsored the 3rd Annual African American Tobacco Control Conference on December 3 and 4, 2001 in Harrisburg, PA. Entitled "Continuing the Legacy: Health and Empowerment", the conference drew 100 participants from across the state. Conference sessions included workshops on grant writing, collaboration building and program evaluation.

A highlight of the conference was a panel of African American tobacco use prevention researchers consisting of Lawrence Robinson, MD, MPH, Philadelphia Department of Health, Gary King, PhD, Penn State University and Robert G. Robinson, PhD, MPH, Office of Smoking and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Robert Robinson was also the dinner speaker. After dinner, participants were entertained by youth from the Homewood-Brushton Athletic Association from Pittsburgh, PA. The youth are involved in tobacco control projects.

The conference came just before the release of the Request for Applications that will help Pennsylvania use approximately $41 Million dollars in tobacco settlement dollars for tobacco use prevention and cessation.

2002 National Minority Health Leadership Summit
Theme: The Impact of Discrimination on Health Status
The Center for Minority Health at the University of Pittsburgh hosted its second annual health leadership summit on January 10-11, 2002. The conference theme, "Impact of Discrimination on Health Status", was reflected in the panel sessions throughout the two day summit.

A highlight of the conference was the announcement by the center's director, Stephen B. Thomas, PhD, of the Greater Pittsburgh African-American Health Promotion Campaign, an initiative designed to eliminate health disparities in the city of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County by the year 2010. The initiative is funded by the Pittsburgh Foundation with support from a number of community partners. It will become a model for helping other American cities to similarly eliminate health disparities.

The summit was sponsored by the Center for Minority Health at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health; the Office for Civil Rights (Region 3); U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Maurice Falk Medical Fund. The conference agenda and copies of the presentations are available online. For more information, go to the following websites:



July 10-12, 2002
The National Leadership Summit to Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health, originally scheduled for September 2001, has been rescheduled for July 10-12, 2002.

Participants will include individuals from traditional and non-traditional organizations addressing minority health issues at the local, state and national levels, as well as funders and policy makers. In addition to the identification and highlighting of successful programs, participants will be able to attend "skills building sessions" aimed at providing participants with information and skills to
enhance their efforts at the local level. Participants will also be provided with a "community tool kit," containing descriptions of community-based programs, technical assistance documents, resource documents, and policies which are aimed at eliminating disparities.

The Summit supports Departmental efforts related to Healthy People 2010, the nation's health agenda, as well as the Departmental Initiative on Eliminating Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health. The registration deadline is June 21, 2002.

For information on registration, exhibiting, co-sponsorship, or general information about the Summit, please contact BETAH Associates, Inc., toll-free at 1-888-516-5599

November 19-21, 2002
The 2002 National Conference on Tobacco OR Health will be November 19-21 in San Francisco, CA. Registration information will be available at the end of May and will include housing and discount airline ticket information.


In the fall of 2001, NAAAPI launched its "Community Partners Program" which funded five community-based organizations that address tobacco and alcohol use in African American communities. This funding, in the form of subcontracts, is supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The subcontracts run from October 2001 to March 2002.

The "Community Partners Program" is designed to support NAAAPI's goal of educating African American communities about the marketing, promotion, and sale of alcohol and tobacco products throughout the United States. The organizations that were awarded subcontracts include Health Promotion Council (Philadelphia, PA), All-Aid International, Inc. (Charleston, WV), The Medical Foundation (Boston, MA), Committed Caring Faith Communities (St. Louis, MO) and Community Recovery Services (Berkley, CA).

Each organization has developed a program that works closely with African Americans to reduce the harmful affects caused by tobacco and alcohol use. Program activities involve youth, members of the faith community and local residents and will combat the tobacco and alcohol industry's tactics of excessive advertising and target marketing in and around schools and stores. Alice Dixon, Director of Operations for NAAAAPI, manages the "Community Partners Program".


Reverend Sylvia Farmer Drew
NAAAPI joins the community of tobacco control advocates in mourning the loss of Reverend Sylvia Farmer Drew. Rev. Drew died on November 15, 2001 due to complications during surgery. Rev. Drew was a strong supporter of the goals and objectives of NAAAPI and served on its Board of Directors, heading the Personnel Committee. She was also one of the founders of the National African American Tobacco Prevention Network (NAATPN). NAATPN has eloquently devoted its Winter 2002 issue to the memory and legacy of Rev. Drew.


National African American Tobacco Prevention Network (NAATPN)
NAATPN is a national organization supported by funds from the American Legacy Foundation. Its mission is "to serve as a national organization dedicated to facilitating the development and implementation of comprehensive and culturally competent tobacco prevention and control initiatives to benefit African American communities." Sandra Headen, PhD, is the Executive Director. Mary Lassiter-Green is the Business Manager.


National African American Tobacco Education Network (NAATEN)
The National African American Tobacco Education Network (NAATEN) is a CDC- funded project whose mission is "to serve as a leader and unified voice on a national level and engage African American organizations in preventing and reducing tobacco use." Pamela Jones is the new Program Director and Nikki Williams is the Program Associate. For more information on NAATEN.


You are invited to become a member of NAAAPI. For $25/year, you can be part of an organization that has been active for the last decade in mobilizing communities across the country to address issues of target marketing and promotion of alcohol and tobacco products to African Americans. Membership entitles you to:

· Current issues of "Words to the Wise"
· Action alerts on issues of interest to the African American community
· A directory of resources and advocates in tobacco and alcohol control and prevention, particularly those in communities of color
· Technical assistance
· A NAAAPI membership card

For membership information, contact NAAAPI at info@naaapi.org or 215-235-6488. Carmella Chandler is the membership drive coordinator.


"Words to the Wise" is a bi-monthly newsletter of the National Association of African Americans for Positive Imagery (NAAAPI). Alice Dixon is supervising editor of the newsletter. Carmella A. Chandler is the editor.

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National Association of African Americans for Positive Imagery
1231 N Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19122 P: 215-235-6488 F: 215-235-6491 E: info@naaapi.org