Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Big Tobacco: How Do You Sleep at Night?

It seems Camel's trick to lure young women was successful. You may remember in 2008 Camel ran numerous ads for their new product Camel No. 9's in magazines like Cosmo, Vogue, and, Glamour. A recent study shows that the advertising of Camel may have been effective in getting young women and girls to start smoking. A survey of girls ages 10-13 found a significant spike in brand preference for Camel once the ads for Camel No. 9 began being prevalent in magazines. Below is a quote from the American Legacy Foundation release on the study:
The study enrolled more than one thousand 10-13 year olds in 2003 and followed them 5 times through 2008, asking participants to report a brand of “favorite” cigarettes. Specifically, teens who reported having a favorite cigarette ad at baseline were 50 percent more likely to have smoked by the fifth interview.  The proportion of boys who reported having a favorite ad remained stable across all five surveys; however, it was found that after the launch of Camel No. 9, the percentage of teen girls who reported having a favorite cigarette ad increased by 10 percentage points, with Camel accounting for nearly all of this increase. (emphasis added.)
While the ads described the product as light and luscious the results of the advertising were anything but that. The question must be asked, how can you sleep at night when most regular smokers started before age 18, when ad campaigns like Camel No. 9 show strong brand preferences among young girls, and when these ads directly contributed to the initiation of smoking of an audience which is supposed to be protected by the Master Settlement Agreement?

How many Wisconsin girls were lured by these ads? How many girls started smoking so that they too might be fashionable, grown-up, and luscious? How do you sleep at night Big Tobacco?

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