Local universities protest Philip Morrisfrom different angle

Students from GW and the University of Maryland chapters of Free the Planet met Sunday to begin a global bumper sticker campaign against the makers of Kraft Foods, a division of Philip Morris.

The Philip Morris Corporation is the world’s leading producer of tobacco products and the second-largest manufacturer of foods, according to Global Aggressions, a book of tobacco company statistics.

By boycotting the makers of Kraft, we are hitting Philip Morris from a different angle, said Jessica Fromen, founder of the new GW chapter of Free the Planet. No one would boycott addictive cigarettes.

The 10 students distributed bumper stickers, which depict a box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese as a pack of Marlboro cigarettes, to tourists around Smithsonian museums for a small donation. The students asked tourists to sign a petition telling Philip Morris to stop marketing tobacco to children.

We chose the National Mall because it is such a high tourist area, said Kate Simmons, a member of INFACT, the non-profit organization sponsoring the campaign. An estimated 15,000 people will view the bumper sticker on just one car.

Senior Melissa Reindl and freshman Tamara O’Neil collected signatures outside the National Museum of American History and the National Air and Space Museum.

A few people stopped to listen to the claims against Philip Morris but were hesitant to sign their names or pay for the stickers.

This is the hardest type of grass-roots campaign because you only have a few seconds to give people the necessary information to get them to stop and sign, O’Neil said.

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