Right Decisions Right Now

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

Right Decisions Right Now (RDRN) was an R.J. Reynolds (RJR) "youth smoking prevention" program started in 1991 that Reynolds addressed to children 12-15 years of age, with components that also addressed parents and retailers. The program provides a good example of how tobacco industry youth smoking prevention programs preserve tobacco company access to children for promotional purposes.

For RDRN, RJR distributed posters to schools with copy that said such things as, "Your Big Ideas About Smoking Are Smaller Than You Think," "If You Think Smoking Makes You Fit In, Think Again," and other similar messages, supported by colorful illustrations. The posters were designed for placement in classrooms, counselors' offices, and hallways, "where students could see them on an ongoing basis." RJR provided these materials to nearly 60% of the junior high and middle schools in the U. S. where they reached well over three million students. In addition to the school poster program, RJR implemented special programs to reach an even wider audience of young people. Examples of such programs include the following :

  • In the summers of 1993 and 1995, RJR conducted "Right Decisions, Right Now" promotions at

all seven then-existing Six Flags theme parks. The programs included displays of the posters and distribution of several hundred thousands of student pamphlets and Right Decisions, Right Now logo buttons to young people.

  • In the summer of 1994, a promotion was conducted in all 278 Aladdin's Castle video

arcade stores across the country, during which wall posters were displayed and pamphlets and logo buttons were distributed.

  • During 1996, a Right Decisions, Right Now message was displayed on the screen and

PSAs ran in the lobby monitors of 430 United Artists movie theaters, representing 2,250 screens and 9 .6 million moviegoers per month, during a six-month period.

  • Wall posters and other materials were made available to the membership of the

National Camp Association and to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

RJR also used young, attractive stars of popular family television shows to make "public service announcements" for RDRN.[1]

RDRN was promoted by the Rogers & Cowan public relations company. RDRN provided RJR with many valuable opportunities to inject itself into the media and promote itself, particularly to youth, through video news releases, public service announcements, satellite media tours, celebrity spokesmen and women, youth-oriented promotions and even a school curriculum distributed to teachers. [2]

SourceWatch resources

External Resources


  1. R.J. Reynolds Right Decisions Right Not Report. 3 pp. Undated. Brown & Williamson Bates No. 208003514/3516
  2. Rogers and Cowan Right Decisions Right Now" Public Relations Plan Outline, Timeline and Budget Draft report. April 10, 1992. R.J. Reynolds Bates No.512681883/1896

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