National Association of State Boards of Education

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

The National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) received received a considerable amount of funding from the tobacco industry, some general donations, and other specific grants to a series of programs ("Helping Youth Decide - HYD, etc) which they were persuaded to support in schools. This gave the tobacco industry the cosmetic veneer of respectability, as a 'responsible' organisation which genuinely had the interests of under-age students at heart.

Of course nothing could be further from the truth, and this would have been obvious to anyone not blinded by the lure of cash.

The front that insulated the NASBE from direct involvement in promoting the industry outright was Jolly Ann Davidson, an ex-president of the organisation, who supported herself in her declining years as virtually a full-time, well paid lobbyist for the cigarette interests.

Anyone with half a brain knew that at the rebellious teenage years the way to generate an almost irresistible attraction to engage in dangerous practices was to tell the juvenile that it was prohibited until he was an adult. This create he mind-set that to prove he was adult, he only needed to engage in these practices. For teenage boys, sex, smoking, alcohol and driving cars fast, all fitted the image perfectly.

Therefore the more the schools promoted the idea that kids shouldn't smoke until they were adult, the more they promoted the tobacco industry's message that they should and could smoke -- provided they weren't caught.

The fact that this was not recognised by trained educators at the NASBE demonstrate how easily personal greed can overcome ethics and judgement.