Intended for healthcare professionals

Minerva Minerva


BMJ 2000; 320 doi: (Published 25 March 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:882

Philip Morris, the world's largest tobacco company, offers enormous rewards to its senior executives for responding to the “business, regulatory, and litigation environment” (Bloomberg Business News Service, March 10). Last year, the pay of chairman and chief executive Geoffrey Bible more than doubled to $21 million. Figures like this, which are unimaginable to the average consumer, will reinvigorate calls for executives' pay to be peggedto teenage smoking levels. Inversely, of course.

A survey of billboards in St Louis in 1998 confirmed that tobacco companies deliberately clustered their advertising in and around poor and minority communities (Tobacco Control 2000;9:16-23). About a fifth of the billboards in St Louis displayed tobacco advertising. They could be found just about everywhere except the richest residential areas. Worse, three quarters of the billboards located in the city were within 700 metres of a school. Now, all have disappeared, thanks to a ban that came into force in early 1999. Further research will show whether or not the ban has had any effect on smoking rates.

Being rehoused in the community has been a positive experience for most of 670 patients discharged from two long stay psychiatric hospitals in England more than seven …

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