Cigarettes are considered to the most advertised product in the U.S. The cigarette giants expend 4 billion dollars per year or 11 million dollars per day to attract and make people to buy cigarettes. Every day the tobacco companies undertake measures against the increasing number of reports about the health risks of smoking. Smoking is considered to be extremely popular nowadays, however tobacco firms affirm that smoking is not as socially acceptable as it was earlier. Despite the negative reports about smoking impact on health, people continue smoking. However, there are those who give up smoking. Others have never started smoking.
The tobacco giants are trying hard to market their products by means of advertisements in magazines and newspapers, on billboards, and through promotions.
Besides, they expend millions of dollars a year as sponsors of sport, art, and music events. Each year Virginia Slims provides the money the Virginia Slims Tennis Tournament. Marlboro sponsors country music events featuring them as “Marlboro Music.” Cigarette firms as well make a contribution to scholarships, such as the United Negro College Fund. They participate in charity events, provide money to many organizations, such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the National Urban League, Goodwill Industries, the National Puerto Rican Forum, the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts, the United Way, and the Y.M.C.A.
Tobacco companies promote their brands in a variety of ways: giving out free samples of cigarette brands, T-shirts, baseball caps, beach towels and discount coupons. As well, when a person buys more than 2 packs of cigarettes, he can get other things free or at a discount price.
Tobacco & Youth
The goal of cigarette advertisements and promotion campaigns is to attract new smokers, keep current smokers smoking, get people who give up to take up smoking again and augment the number of cigarettes people smoke every day. The most important is that tobacco advertisements and campaigns make rising generation to take up smoking. The majority of advertisements are specially made to appeal teenagers and women. According to the statistics, such advertisements have great success. According to U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders, every day 3,000 teenagers light up their first cigarette. In the U.S. 3 million people aged 13 and 19 are cigarette smokers. Nearly when people are in their 14.5 years they start smoking.
R.J. Reynolds, the second-largest tobacco company in the U.S., advertises their Camel cigarettes with the cartoon figure “Joe Camel.” These advertisements have been very popular with young people. Since Joe Camel ads were first introduced, cigarette sales to youth have increased from 6 million to 476 million dollars.
Philip Morris’ Marlboro cowboy ads, first created in 1954, also attract young people. These ads show a tough or macho, independent cowboy. A sad fact is that one of the cowboys pictured in Marlboro ads, Wayne McLaren, died of lung cancer. He died in 1992 after smoking for 25 years. Still about half of all youth smoke Marlboros.