Cigarette Ad May Have Targeted Teen Girls
An antismoking group declares that a Camel cigarette advertisement may have targeted teenage girls.
A national survey of teenagers was conducted soon after ads for the R.J. Reynolds brand Camel No. 9. Advertisements were in leading women’s magazines. 44% of the girls named Camel cigarettes brand a favorite brand due to advertising. The respondents were aged 15 years.
In last survey approximately 10% of girls named their favorite cigarette advertisement. The latest survey showed that the Camel brand was the most popular.
The landmark 1998 Master Settlement Agreement between states’ attorneys general and the tobacco industry bans all tobacco marketing targeted at children and teenagers.
As the agreement came into force, the smoking rate among youth people has decreased from 35% to approximately 20%.
R.J. Reynolds strongly refuses marketing of Camel cigarettes to youth, but tobacco trends researcher, PhD, who led the survey, does not agree.
John P. Pierce’s research was financed by the antismoking group American Legacy Foundation and the National Cancer Institute. It was in online version in Pediatrics.
“The Master Settlement Agreement has given results – smoking rate among teenagers reduced,” said John P. Pierce. “But the industry Reynolds did noting to force people smoking.”
In the recent study Pierce and colleagues revealed that nonsmoking people aged 12 -15 years who were susceptible to cigarette advertising smoke next six years than those not exposed to tobacco ads.
R.J. Reynolds declares that the cigarette marketing of the company corresponds to the Master Settlement Agreement and does not aim teenagers.
R.J. Reynolds said that Camel No. 9 was created for female adult smokers, who smoke Camel and cigarettes of other brands, who were asking for a tobacco product that better reflected their taste preferences and style,” the statement reads.
“Camel No. 9 has been launched in 2007 and has never had more than a 0.60% share of the cigarette market”.
The statement underlines that R.J. Reynolds has not made print advertising for any of its cigarette brands for more than two years and that there has been no in-store advertising for Camel No. 9 since 2008.
While no cigarette company has admitted to aiming advertising to youth, the industry has a long history of promoting to women, starting in the mid-1920s when an ad for the Lucky Strike brand told females worried about their waistlines to “Reach for a Lucky Instead of a Sweet.”
Earlier, only approximately 5% of American women were smokers. Approximately 20% of women in the U.S. now are smokers.
“If teen girls do not begin smoking, the business model of the tobacco industry breaks down,” Healton says. “80 % of women start smoking before the age of 18 and 90% start before age 20.”
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