Medicine for the Outdoors
Medicine for the Outdoors

Dr. Paul Auerbach is the world's leading outdoor health expert. His blog offers tips on outdoor safety and advice on how to handle wilderness emergencies.

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A Reprehensible Message from Philip Morris USA

The spam filter on my computer usually removes the hundreds of useless, annoying messages that are sent to me each week by marketers, scam artists, and other assorted Internet predators. But as we all know, a lot of spam still gets through. Normally I just report the spam and delete the messages, but I'm compelled to mention one message I received that seems particularly reprehensible.

Here's the message:

"On February 4th, 2009, the Federal Government enacted legislation to fund the expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) that increases excise taxes on cigarettes by 158%. As a result, you will see the price of all cigarettes, including ours, increase in retail stores.

We know times are tough, so we'd like to help. We invite you to register
at to become eligible for cigarette coupons and special offers
using this code: MAR1558

Thank You,

Philip Morris USA"

I went to the Marlboro website to check it out, and this is for real. I think that Philip Morris USA should be forced to re-title their campaign "Coupons for Cancer." Not the type of coupons where a donation is made to prevent cancer, but a campaign where coupons are distributed to give people cancer - and lung disease, heart disease and strokes.

What does this have to do with medicine for the outdoors? Nothing, directly, but I'm a doctor, and somebody needs to say something.

Preview the Annual Meeting of the Wilderness Medical Society, which will be held in Snowmass, Colorado July 24-29, 2009.

Join me from January 24 to February 2, 2010 for an exciting dive and wilderness medicine CME adventure aboard the Nautilus Explorer to Socorro Island, Mexico to benefit the Wilderness Medical Society.

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About the Author

Dr. Paul S. Auerbach is the world’s leading authority on wilderness medicine.