Origins of Personal Responsibility Rhetoric in News Coverage of the Tobacco Industry

By the mid 1980s, the personal responsibility frame dominated the tobacco industry’s public arguments. In a new article in the American Journal of Public Health, Pamela Mejia and colleagues analyze news coverage of the tobacco industry from 1966 to 1991. They conclude that the tobacco industry’s use of personal responsibility rhetoric in public preceded the ascension of personal responsibility rhetoric commonly associated with the Reagan Administration in the 1980s.