The Truth


One would think that the $1 million Philip Morris youth anti-smoking campaign would really try to get youth to stop smoking. The Philip Morris youth anti-smoking campaign just makes it appear as though they are seriously addressing the problem of underage smoking. All of the anti-smoking programs that have been launched by the tobacco industry are devised to relieve negative press and political pressure on the industry rather than actually discourage tobacco use by youth.

If Philip Morris were truly serious about reducing tobacco use by kids, it would greatly reduce and revise, or even terminate, its marketing and advertising schemes to lure youth. It would end its use of the Marlboro Man that has been so effective in attracting young smokers. Philip Morris continues to promote its youth smoking programs in order to appear that they are trying to reduce tobacco use among youth, while at the same time spending millions every day on marketing and advertising that targets youth and fighting real tobacco control campaigns at all levels.

Companies claim not to market to teens; however, the same companies oppose any efforts to make it more difficult for kids to obtain the product – such as doing away with cigarette vending machine sales where they may have access, requiring tobacco products be sold from behind the counter, forbidding sales of single cigarettes or “kiddie packs” (packs fewer than 20 cigarettes) or prohibiting sales via the Internet or through the mail.

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Check out these tactics tobacco companies use to get you…
A University of Chicago study showed an increase in advertising and promotion in and around retail outlets like convenience stores after the tobacco settlement.
Source: Wakefield, Melanie, et al. “Changes at the point of purchase for tobacco following the 1999 tobacco billboard advertising ban.” University of Illinois at Chicago. Research Paper Series, No. 4 July 2000

Many retail outlets have cigarette ads and logos everywhere. A majority (70%) of retail stores have brand-marked displays, including clocks, floor mats and other visible items that are strategically placed in the view of young people.

Placing cigarettes and other tobacco products near candy displays is no accident. Tobacco companies pay big bucks to do so.
These displays also promote impulse purchases and make cigarettes and other tobacco products visible to kids and make purchases by kids easier.

Often times cigarette and spit tobacco advertising in retail outlets is purposely placed at lower levels so it is out of direct eye contact with adults but right at the eye level of young kids. The tobacco industry pays big bucks to stores to get ads and logos placed in highly visible areas.

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Massachusetts Department of Health found that cigarette advertising increased by 33 percent in magazines with high youth readership after the November 1998 Master Settlement Agreement, in which the tobacco companies agreed to not market to teens.
Source: Bowker, Dianne Turner and M Hamilton, “Cigarette Advertising Expenditures before and After the Master Settlement Agreement: Preliminary Finding.” May 15, 2000

86 percent of teen smokers (ages 12-17) prefer Marlboro, Camel and Newport – (which happen to be the three most heavily advertised brands). Marlboro, in first place, takes 55% of the teen market and 35% of smokers over 25.
Source: “Summary findings from the 1999 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse,” Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration , U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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The Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that teens are more effectively influenced to smoke by advertising than by peer pressure.
Source: Evans, N., et al., “Influence of Tobacco Marketing and Exposure to Smokers on Adolescent Susceptibility to Smoking, ” Journal of the National Cancer Institute 87(20): 1538-45 (October 1995)

A study in the Journal of Marketing shows that teens are three times as sensitive as adults to cigarette advertising.
Source: Pollay et al., “The Last Straw? Cigarette Advertising and Realized Market Shares Among Youth and Adults,” Journal of Marketing 60(2):1-16 (April 1996)

The cigarette magazine advertisements most often seen and most well liked by adolescents, and most highly perceived as making smoking look appealing, are for two of the brands they are most likely to smoke, Marlboro and Camel. “The results of the study are consistent with the view that certain cigarette advertisements enhance the appeal of smoking to many adolescents.”
Source: Adolescents’ responses to cigarette advertisements: links between exposure, liking, and the appeal of smoking. JJ, Terhanian G. Tobacco Control 1998 Summer;7(2):129-33

Internal tobacco industry documents gathered from various tobacco lawsuits show that kids as young as 13 are the key market. Adequate product development and marketing techniques are used to aim at this target.

For just one of the many useful summaries of the documentary evidence, see Perry, C.L. “The Litigation,” Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine 153:935-941, September 1999

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Major cigarette companies spend over $6.7 billion each year (which means more than $18.4 million every day)
Source: Federal Trade Commission Report to Congress for 1998, Pursuant to the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act (2000)

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