Philip Morris’s Project Sunrise: Wake Up and Smell the Efforts to Undermine Public Health

An article published in the medical journal Tobacco Control reveals Philip Morris' "Project Sunrise" (1995-2006), a long-term plan to bolster the social acceptability of smoking and ensure the company's future. Project Sunrise laid out a clear divide-and-conquer strategy against the tobacco control movement, including plans to "promote values that support smoking," use of "carefully orchestrated efforts" to splinter the movement by exploiting differences of opinion among tobacco control advocates, to weaken the company's opponents by working with them, and to reposition itself as "responsible" in the minds of the public and legislators. Take away: If PM comes knocking at your door with a basket of goodies, wake up and smell the Sunrise. (Key documents describing Project Sunrise are posted by the Legacy Tobacco Documents Library here).