Project Sunrise

This was a long term Philip Morris initiative to divide-and-conquer the tobacco control movement using “carefully orchestrated efforts” to exploit existing differences of opinion within tobacco control, weakening its opposition by working with them. In these excerpts ATI stands for anti-tobacco industry, sometimes referred to simply as ANTIS.

Bates No. 2070437692

“the anti-smoking industry is potentially vulnerable for several reasons:

  1. The rapid growth in resources, membership and successes, has created a sense of invincibility within the anti-tobacco industry that may blind organizations to carefully orchestrated efforts by the tobacco industry and its allies to accelerate turf wars and exacerbate philosophical differences (smoking and ETS, vs. youth and marketing).”

Strategy #1 was called ‘FAIR PLAY’ Bates No. 2063393720

“1. Intensify research on the composition, objectives and initiatives of the anti-tobacco industry – build on existing information and establish new channels of information

2. Build relationships with potentially moderate anti-tobacco groups to exacerbate conflicts within the movement and define extremists

3. Diminish funding sources available to the ATI

4. Weaken credibility of anti-tobacco groups and individuals (with an emphasis on their leadership)”

“Reach out directly to state tobacco-control coalitions with the offer of funding, or joint partnerships designed to enhance responsible tobacco retailing activities. If the effort to establish a relationship succeeds, we have an opportunity to publicize our mutual cooperation. If the effort fails, we have an opportunity to question the true agenda of tobacco control advocates.”

Bates No. 2062367623

“Create schisms – force them to fight among themselves.”

Bates No. 2063393720

“Establish a coalition of watchdog groups, conservative media and non-traditional allies to publicize evidence of abuses of federal and state statutes…

“Divert funds to either “benign” tobacco-related programs, or to programs that affect other social policy stakeholders…An example might be to divert ASSIST or IMPACT funding into programs designed to enforce minimum age laws.

“Publicize financial motives of Voluntary Health Organizations: How do these organizations raise funds and what do they do with them?...

“Work with other social stakeholders to question priorities of foundations involved in tobacco advocacy-e.g. raise questions about why RWJ foundation support is not going to other causes.”

Bates No. 2063393718

“We expect, that as their funding is squeezed and investigations are launched on potential violations of state and local lobbying laws, some ATI advocates may think pragmatically about accepting our offer to work together to address the youth issue as well as other issues where we can arrive at a consensus.

“This effort will cause further dissension between those anti groups that seek prohibition at any cost and those who are truly concerned about achieving reasonable solutions.”

The results of Project Sunrise were:

  1. In depth database on tobacco control organizations including biographical information, funding sources, political contributions, advertising, meetings, budgets, policy priorities and plans, and communications
  2. Attempted dialogue with AHA, ACS, ALA re: youth smoking, access. National 4-H youth smoking initiative (1998). Overtures to TC leaders re: harm and risk reduction. Corporate philanthropy
  3. National Smokers’ Alliance sued Roswell Park Cancer Institute. PM report on ‘waste, fraud and abuse’ in California TC expenditures. Attacking ASSIST. Substantial decrease in TC funding. May have urged IRS to investigate AHA and ALA political activity.
  4. Use of third-party allies to attack TC groups as extremists.