March 15th, 2010
08:40 AM ET

Was it a cigarette ad campaign that worked - on teenagers?

By John Bonifield
CNN Medical Producer

 A new study in the journal Pediatrics says that the R.J. Reynolds tobacco company may have influenced underage girls to start smoking by effectively marketing a brand of cigarettes to them.

Cigarette manufacturers aren't supposed to be targeting their ads at young teens - girls or boys. In 1998, the tobacco industry said it wouldn't direct advertising at underage youth. So, what happened here?

The controversial ads were for R.J. Reynold's Camel No. 9 cigarettes. The ads, which were featured in popular women’s magazines like Glamour, Lucky and Vogue back in 2007, look a lot like the pages of a glitzy fashion magazine. The cigarettes are featured right alongside a beautiful dress, shoes, jewelry and a purse - the kinds of items that you might expect teen girls to find glamorous and appealing.

"The ads had a lot imagery that is girl-like," says Cheryl Healton with the American Legacy Foundation, an anti-tobacco advocacy group. "Shocking pink on the packaging. Describing the cigarettes as light and luscious. Making them almost like candy."

 In the study, girls were asked over the course of several years, "What is the name of the cigarette brand of your favorite cigarette advertisement?" In 2004, 10 percent of girls chose Camel as their favorite brand. In 2008, a year after R.J. Reynolds launched its new campaign, nearly 22 percent of girls chose Camel as their favorite brand.

"The majority of these kids had not reported a favorite ad before," says the study's lead author, John Pierce with the University of Southern California-San Diego's Moores Cancer Center.

 This finding has public health officials concerned because studies have found that kids who can tell you the name of the brand of their favorite cigarette ad are 50 percent more likely to take up smoking in the next three years, according to Healton.

 The R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company tells CNN that it "adheres to numerous restrictions on how it markets its tobacco products and does not take any action to target youth." The company's statement goes on to say, "Camel No. 9 was developed in response to female adult smokers...who were asking for a product that better reflected their taste preferences and style." R.J. Reynolds says it has not run any print advertising for cigarettes, including Camel No. 9, for more than two years. It also says there has been no in-store advertising for Camel No. 9 since 2008.

Pierce, however, says the damage has been done. He estimates Camel's ad campaign may have influenced 174,000 underage girls to start smoking.

"The company made a commitment they wouldn't go after kids," says Pierce. "The question is, are they targeting young adults or young teens, and a lot of people are saying it's targeting young teens."

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soundoff (126 Responses)
  1. steph

    As a smoker myself, I can tell you, I was not influenced by advertising. My parents smoked, a lot of my other family members smoked, a lot of my friends smoked. The ad that was shown in the video would not have influenced me to start smoking, in fact, at first glance, I assumed the whole ad was the right hand page with the cigarette packs on it and the left hand page was a clothing ad. I can't say that I believe the number of under age girls who take up the habit are going to be influenced by an ad like that, and I seriously doubt that the 174,000 figure is reasonable. How many kids at 10 or 11 are reading Vogue? None of the children I know are. Parents who have these types of magazines around don't need to freak out about this, I don't think. Let's all keep in mind, children take risks because they don't have the ability to analyze the consequences of their actions, not because some magazine has an ad in it.

    March 15, 2010 at 11:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Ezra

    Michael March 15th, 2010 10:11 ET:

    Why dont you start you own country and make your own freedome rules. Just like a progressive liberal will do.

    March 15, 2010 at 11:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Ron

    I am a little dubious about the claims in the title of this article. I think that the biggest influencers on smoking are a kid's parents and peers. Advertising generally doesn't work unless its subject is about something the viewer is already interested in. For example, my 2nd grade girls will see an ad about some fuzzy pet or doll toy and they will say they want that. However, if they see an ad about toy robots or trucks, they don't say that they want those just because they see the ad for it. They get up and go to the bathroom when the ads that don't interest them show up.

    So, it would seem that the Camel ad was targeted to those that already smoked, i.e. it was to take market share away from a competing brand.

    "Pierce, however, says the damage has been done. He estimates Camel's ad campaign may have influenced 174,000 underage girls to start smoking."

    I'd like to know how he arrived at that number.

    March 15, 2010 at 11:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Carolyn

    Very interesting that some posters seem to think they are immune to advertising and have so much self-control over their personal decisions. Like it or not, we are all social organisms and subject to all sorts of influences in our environment – advertising, cigarette taxes, laws, and social mores all go toward the behaviors someone "freely" adopts. The only way that cigarette use (and lung cancer rates) have come under control is through a comprehensive approach to tobacco control.

    March 15, 2010 at 11:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Hank

    Ok, so are they going to ban every add that shows an ultra-skinny blonde girl in those same magizines? You know, the ones that basically tell a girl "this is the figure you MUST have to be pretty"? LOL These are all debates that have gone on for decades. The problem I see in all of this is simple. The problem is society has become such 'sheep' that they can not make choices on their own. EVERYONE knows the consiquences of smoking. Why must "big daddy" look out for everyone. Why can't parants get off their lazy rears and teach their kids instead of letting the media do it for them. If you are not willing or capable of teaching a child how to think and have common sense for themselves, then I ask you not have any.

    March 15, 2010 at 11:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Lynda

    I think for every cigarette ad there should be an ad displaying the True Dangers of cigarette smoking, literally next to the buy our product & inhale smoke ad. Expensive but I believe it would deter enough people to justify it's cost.

    In the case of cigarettes, they are killing off their own customers with their product.

    Why is it that a drug like marijuana is still illegal but one of the most addictive and dangerous drugs out there – tobacco – is still perfectly legal and available?

    Tobacco addiction is harder to overcome than heroin addiction, yet our government turns a blind eye to the mega-giant tobacco companies blatant disregard for health.

    The tobacco companies boost their cigarettes with chemicals to make them more addictive, they lie under oath about the dangers of their product, and they spend billions of dollars targeting those who should be the last ones to consider smoking – children and lower income households.

    Why can't anyone accept responsibility for corrupting youth?

    If you believe these comments are true – come join me at TobaccoFreeKids.org. We can work to keep kids off tobacco.

    March 15, 2010 at 11:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Rob

    I am shocked how many people are clueless about the powers of advertising. Its all about hitting your subconscious with a branding message. Your brain is picking up things in a second that you are not even aware. Sure kids start on their own, but the ads are reinforcing it as positive and attractive image. Works the same way as product placement in movies and TV shows. There is a reason why millions are spent on advertising. Because it works whether you think it does or not.

    March 15, 2010 at 11:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Peggy

    The advertising for these cigarettes has not been used for over two years. What teenage girl is influenced by an ad that is two years old. They are talking about a group that looses interest in things daily. That advertisement was "so last week" two years ago. Kids start smoking because their friends do. It is a rite of passage. Most stop when they get a little older and start making individual choices for themselves. Get Real!!!

    March 15, 2010 at 11:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Joe

    I could care less, if people are that dumb to smoke then let them smoke all they want! People always want to blame the company but it comes down to the stupid consumer that buys it. If you know the consequences and still want to kill yourself i'll be happy to help.

    March 15, 2010 at 11:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Josh

    At this point, who cares? We all know the dangers of smoking. If someone wants to make that "choice" on their own, so be it. Just make health insurance EXTREMELY expensive for the people who make the choice.

    It's stupid to keep blaming the company. Their goal is to sell product. ... As long as they don't lie about it.

    March 15, 2010 at 11:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Rod S.

    Cars are a necessity these days to function in society, there is risk in most things we do in life. Cigarettes are not a necessity..... see where I'm going with this?

    March 15, 2010 at 11:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. K.C

    "Camel No. 9 was developed in response to female adult smokers...who were asking for a product that better reflected their taste preferences and style."

    What a crock this statement is!! I don't know one woman (or man) who would get in touch with a Tobacco Company to ask them to manufacture a cigarette that "reflected their taste preferences and style."

    The bottom line with Tobacco Companies is that they need new smokers to replace the 1/2 million people that die from smoking every year, (Figure their lost revenue by multiplying those 1/2 million people times $7 per pack–and of course, some of those people smoked 2 or 3 packs per day!!.) and they believe that the biggest suckers are teens and so they try to make their product appealing to them.

    March 15, 2010 at 11:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Nick

    Ron S. "I think for every cigarette ad there should be an ad displaying the True Dangers of cigarette smoking, literally next to the buy our product & inhale smoke ad. Expensive but I believe it would deter enough people to justify it's cost."
    I have to assume that you are suggesting that the state or federal government would be the ones to pay for these ads. You are correct that this would be prohibitively expensive. However, you comment about deterring people from smoking somehow justifying the expense would never happen. IMO non-smokers would not want to pay higher taxes to pay for ads that will perhaps stop others from smoking (the its not my problem excuse) and smokers would certainly not be for this measure, thats the whole population. Also, tobacco is one of the highest taxed products for sale in America. The government may say they want to bring smoking to an end, however, tobacco sales are highly profitable. Your plan, Ron, suggests reducing tax revenues while undertaking a massive spending program; that, my friend, will never happen.

    March 15, 2010 at 11:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Will H.

    Perhaps it's just a matter of semantics, but as long as the "teen girls" are 18 and 19 there's actually nothing wrong with this.

    Also, anybody that isn't aware that inhaling the concentrated smoke from burning plant material is inherently dangerous deserves what they get. Kind of hard for me to say that since I am a smoker, but I at least acknowledge there's a risk involved with my behavior.

    March 15, 2010 at 11:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Brandon

    When will people stop vilifying tobacco companies? What ever happened to free will? No amount of advertising will FORCE anyone to do anything. Why trake the blame off of the kids who start to smoke? Because it's not PC to blame the kids for their own choices?

    This is just fishing for blame, and the tobacco companies make good targets, because of the belief that "tobacco companies brainwash people to start smoking." How can anyone believe this crap??? No one is forced to start smoking. It all comes down to personal choices, and we are each held responsible for those.

    March 15, 2010 at 11:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. psuath

    just because you have a favorite commercial/ad doesn't mean you partake what is being advertised. i have a soccer ad that i like, but i don't play soccer.

    March 15, 2010 at 11:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Nick

    There are teen specific magazines and more adult themed magazines. The ad looked like it was target toward a woman customer, nothing in the ad can really be pointed to as teen specific. If the ad was run in an issue of Teen Vogue or CosmoGirl, as opposed to VOGUE and Cosmopolitan, then there would be a very big problem, but this is just not the case here. Also, the article implies that the glamorous items were part of the ad, the ad consisted of nothing but a cigarette box and text. There is little evidence to show that this ad was focused on young teens(12-15) rather than adult women. Most of the magazines that the ad ran in have teen specific versions, so one can argue that the ads ran in the ADULT versions. Also, the glamorous items that were suggested to hypnotize the young girls was not part of the ad, it was the preceding magazine page that would have differed in every instance of the ad running.

    March 15, 2010 at 11:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Scott

    Bobby said: "I think for every person that thinks it's tv and the media's fault that they're kids are doing something bad, should have their children taken away and be shot out of a cannon. This way it will prevent these weak willed, poor parenting clowns from polluting the earth with their filthy seeds. Why don't we take a step back and start taking some accountability for our actions, hmm?"

    Forgive me for saying so, Bobby, but you're an idiot. Good kids from good homes and good parents ARE influenced by the media and their (note how easy it is to use the correct "their") peers and do dumb things like start smoking. If advertisements didn't work, companies wouldn't spend millions of dollars on ad campaigns.

    March 15, 2010 at 11:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Tampa Bill

    Very, very simple.

    Stop the sales and manufacturing of tobacco products.

    March 15, 2010 at 11:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Kara

    This is ridiculous – if kids see an ad in a magazine and say "hey – that ad looks awesome, i think i'll start smoking," then they're going to have a LOOOOOOONG, hard and disappointing road in front of them for the rest of their life. There are also ads in these magazines for birth control – are people going to start blaming the spread of STDs among teens on these ads? It's just ridiculous these days how much stuff gets "blamed" on random things such as this. It's called responsibility – kids know smoking is bad by the time they're able to get their hands on these magazines.

    March 15, 2010 at 11:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Phil

    I possess a mind and I like to use it to decide what is best for myself.

    March 15, 2010 at 12:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. WJ

    Piss Poor Parenting is more to blame than any other excuse out there

    March 15, 2010 at 12:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Pack a Day

    The last I checked smoking is legal. A company like Camel is legal, and has the right to advertise in hopes of attracting customers. That's sort of the point...

    March 15, 2010 at 12:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Chantal

    I'm with some who wonder how they see advertising in these magazines as "targeting under-aged girls". First of all, as a parent with daughters, what parent would ALLOW their daughters to read these magazines! My 16 year old does NOT need to know how to improve her sex life with the articles in Glamour, and no time soon will be able to afford any of the clothes in Vogue. That is why there are magazines TARGETING these age groups...yes, there is a TeenVogue magazine. So that leads me to my second point...unless the ads were in TEEN magazines, they were not directed toward teens, but rather the 20-30 something crowd that reads the magazines they advertised in. The ads were only representative of the magazine content.

    March 15, 2010 at 12:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Jackie Q.

    GARBAGE! Kids start smoking because they think it makes them look older and cooler............PERIOD!!!!

    March 15, 2010 at 12:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Eric P

    Is it me, is there a subliminal association with the perfume Chanel No 9? They advertise in fashion magazines, and give a name to their product that closely resembles a popular perfume line. And the brand name can easilly be associated, especially by the dyslexic. Makes me think of the word game where you take one word and change it into another by changing a letter.

    March 15, 2010 at 12:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Ryan

    Eh, smoking doesn't cause cancer, or everyone who smoked would haveit, it lowers your imune system and gives you emphasima and makes you more suseptable to getting cancer. Come on now kids how much more do we have to show about the risks before we just let survival of the fittest take over?

    March 15, 2010 at 12:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. frank

    I got a better idea bill surrey, why dont we have our brain removed and have it installed in a robot, this way we can live forever, and the only thing we have to worry about is changing our oil.hows that bill.

    March 15, 2010 at 12:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. DJ

    The article shows data that indicate that more girls identify Camel as their favorite brand in 2008 than did in 2004. The increase does coincide in time with the reported marketing campaign. However, there is no report of data showing how the preference of all smokers changed over the same period. If the same trends were evident (i.e., similar increase in % smokers that prefer Camel) then the data would not support the conclusion that the campaign "targeted" teens; instead, it could just be described as incidental.

    March 15, 2010 at 12:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Pope Jon

    War on drugs has worked so well and is doing such a good job since it was conceived 41 years ago that people are now abusing and using illegal drugs more then ever!!! I’m not advocating legalizing crack cocaine. But you’d just be adding another product to the black market that would be even harder to eradicate then existing illegal narcotics. Why? Because cigarettes can be made legally in many places around the world and the US is not the only place you can grow tobacco. More innocent victims would get caught in the cross fire and the underworld gets a new product to make even more money. Jacking up the taxes on cigarettes has already created a niche in the black market. Think with common sense about how the real world works before you advocate making cigarettes illegal. I know it’s an emotional subject for some but you’d be causing way more problems then you’d be fixing.

    March 15, 2010 at 12:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Chris L

    So here is a question; if they were to put into a men’s magazine like Maxium a guys hanging around a bar enjoying a smoke while their girls were in their laps and all smiling would we say that is geared to young men? Or maybe if it had a boat in a harbor with some guys sailing saying NEWPORT in big letters would we say it is geared towards fishermen?

    Really this is just another thing non-smokers can do to pull away the rights to smokers be able to have a smoke in this country. Really I am not a smoker but who cares who smokes… kids do not need advertisements to pick up smoking… if that was the case then it is hard to understand who is advertizing doing drugs like weed, coke and extasy. When are the non-smokers going to stop acting like Nazis and get off their high horse… I like using fat back to cook my food would I be upset if someone kept making rules to limit my cooking or jacking up prices so to curb my cooking… what I cant believe is how smokers are sitting back just taking up the kister like that…

    And for all you people jumping on cig companies while I understand your point my question is how can you for sure say that they are advertizing to young adults when the only place they can even put an ad is an adult magazine now a-days? I don’t see cigarette ads in my child’s Disney mag or highlight… so first before you start pointing at companies first ask yourself what are your kids reading if you feel that reading just an ad can change you so much that you must go out and do what ever the ad is telling… pretty soon we are going to blame Trojan commercials for teens having sex right… oh no that’s right we would never do anything like that because they protect you (or so we are told by the advertising)

    March 15, 2010 at 12:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. LacrosseSon

    Um, why are we still allowing cigarette makers to advertise their poison?

    March 15, 2010 at 12:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. connie

    Well my fave brand was camel before I even saw ads. It's just a good smoke. I no longer smoke. If the kids can afford a camel it must be because their allowence is to high. The parents are probably letting them use the sports car or SUV as well. I hid my smoking, then just didn't care. Yea I knew they were bad. So was all the drugs I was doing. You just dont care about this stuff when young. Parental influance is also there. I had smoking parents. If smoking ciggerretes are the worse my child ever does I will be blessed. However I am working to having her make better choices then that.

    March 15, 2010 at 12:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. j sanford

    Of course they target groups by age and other criteria. Cigarette companies are no different than politicians. Everything that we are exposed to in the media is deceptive especially politics.
    Truth is no longer required in everyday life.
    I think it is time to return to a nation of honest decent people.
    How can we make that happen?

    March 15, 2010 at 12:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. get rid of cigarettes

    Here's how to get rid of smoking over the next 40-50 years. If you want to smoke, fine. You have to be 18 (current law). Next year you have to be 19, the year after that, 20. And so on, and so on. People may stop smoking just because they keep getting carded, and a 35-year old may give it just because of that. Obviously there will be a black market, and costs will go up. Is that a bad thing. Anything to stop people from smoking is a good thing. Traffic accidents will go down, obvious health benefits for those who would have started smoking. The only downer is the drop in tax revenue. And the producers? Let them grow asparagus. I love asparagus and it's pretty expensive.

    March 15, 2010 at 12:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Ryan

    Hey Ian, the reason the advertising for it is restricted is that while it is legal for adults it is illegal for youth. Thus, we have restrictions to the way the tabaco companies can advertise their products.

    March 15, 2010 at 12:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Tim

    Funny how we track the reach of R.J.R's adds but no one asks if these kids come from families that smoke. If you can show me a study that shows that most kids identifying a favorite brand of cigarettes & coming from non-smoking homes end up smoking I may be incline to agree with the findings of this study. Until then I'll bet anything that 90%+ of kids that end up smoking come from smoking families. God forbid we hold adults accountable for the conduct of their children when the world is full of so many other people to blame. At the end of the day no matter what adds target who, each person is still responsible for their actions

    March 15, 2010 at 12:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Ken

    when I was in HS most teens who smoked did so because you looked cool – you were breaking the rules and everyone knew it. Just like cutting class, acting out, etc, it's all part of rebelling against what your parents and teachers wanted.

    " In 2004, 10 percent of girls chose Camel as their favorite brand. In 2008, a year after R.J. Reynolds launched its new campaign, nearly 22 percent of girls chose Camel as their favorite brand."

    This is a perfect example of statistics with an agenda. They're not saying the percentage of smokers increased, just that the same group of people who smoked now smoke Camels. That's not spreading a problem, and should be allowed.

    March 15, 2010 at 12:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Stacy

    This is ridiculous. The ads are marketed towards ADULT female smokers in magazines that are marketed towards adult females though they may be read by teenagers as well. Maybe they should focus less on the advertising and focus more on how underage children are acquiring cigarettes.

    March 15, 2010 at 12:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. SD

    Teenagers will smoke because they are curious to see what it's like, not because they see an ad in a magazine! How naive can people be? Gimme a break...this is the year 2010....we all know that smoking is bad for us; as if a magazine ad will make teenagers magically forget that fact!

    Until they make cigarettes as illegal as cocaine, the anti-smoking nutjobs should really take a good look at themselves......do you drink beer or wine? Eat hot dogs? Chocolate? Candy? Potato chips? Drive a gasoline powered car? Enough said. Have a nice day.

    March 15, 2010 at 13:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. melissa

    What a load of crap! I started smoking at age 15 and it had nothing to do with Joe Camel or any other cigarette ad, flavor, or packaging. I smoked the cheapest cigarettes i could find and so did my friends. None of us understood that nicotine addiction was more than just a bad habit. I'm really sick of bad science, bad journalism, and lack of education. Not to mention the holier-than-thou control freaks who continuously try to hide behind "the children". Seriously, if your so worried about your kids, try parenting for a change. If you can't talk to them about the realities of the world we live in, please feel free to use birth control and leave the rest of us alone!

    March 15, 2010 at 13:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Bonnie Schofield

    Why is tobacco advertizing still legal in the US?

    The solution is to ban ALL advertizing for tobacco in any form. And they could go further by making the wrappers more plain and visually unappealing. Just the brand name and the warning in big black letters on the front. All the money not going into advertizing could go directly to fund national health care.

    March 15, 2010 at 13:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Pope Jon

    Bonnie Schofield, can you honestly name one sin tax that actually goes to what it’s allocated for? Doesn’t exist. Sin tax has never fixed or helped the people who are real addicts and does almost nothing for prevention because non of the tax goes towards prevention programs at the end of the day… But there is a growing black market for selling illegal cigarettes due to the high tax rate on cigarettes. That does exist and is a very real growing problem. Who does that help? your local thug... You’ve obviously have never smoked cigarettes and if you have, did the colorful packages and ads actually draw you in to smoking? Of course not. I don’t smoke anymore but when I started as a kid, I’d by the cheapest smokes I could find like “Basic” or brands called “Cigarettes”. The graphic design was just what you described and the cigarettes were horrible. But I was after the nicotine. That’s what smoking is all about, nicotine fix. Nothing more nothing less…. I’d advocate for sin taxes but historically they always seem to do more harm then good and the money made from the tax always goes to anything but the “cause”… Just like the proposed sugar tax on soda in NY will….

    March 15, 2010 at 14:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Rod S.

    Quit Smoking cigarettes if you care about your health, and if you don't care about your health think about your children, family etc. at least.

    PS Us taxpayers are paying for the medical treatments for most of the smokers who have destroyed their health with cigarettes. Put that in your pipe and smoke it taxpaying nick, and it's Rod S. not Ron.

    March 15, 2010 at 14:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Nostraden63

    This is the Biggest Lie I have ever heard,So what Your Saying is that The CLYDESDALES Made all these DRUNKS IN THE USA ? You Mean to Say if Kids see a CAR AD that they will go and buy that CAR ? SO did the Cigarette Ad Start Kids Snorting COCAINE ,POT,And did the TYLENOL Ads Start them Doing DRUGS ? Taking Pills ? And Last you would Think With ALCOHOL being the Most Costly,Deadly,Home Wrecking,And Costy to the HEALTHCARE SYSTEM You Would Talk about all the BEER and ALCOHOL ADS on Our Highways,Ball Games,Theme parks,On TV,Radio,that Kids see Hear Daily ???? Oh I guess Not because Its all about Smoking Right ? at $175,000,000,0000.00 Per Year Just in the USA in Health,Legal,And DISEASES not to EXCLUDE all the HARM to OTHERS that THIS WOULD BE AN ISSUE to HARP ALL OVER....naaaaaaaaa DRINKING ALCOHOL is GOOD FOR YOU......YEA RIGHT.........WAKE UP AMERICA

    March 15, 2010 at 14:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Let's Get Real

    Why does everyone expect this publicly-traded company to honor a "commitment" that directly conflicts with their prime reason for existing (which is to make a profit and maximize shareholder value)? Did we really expect RJR to embark on what is essentially a Revenue Reduction Program even if they promised they would?

    We know from experience that big business can't regulate or police themselves, because they can't resolve the inherent conflict of interests.

    Let’s face it. Advertising to young people is RJR’s only hope to stay in business long term. Nobody takes up smoking when they’re in their 30’s. Smoking starts in childhood and teenage years. So if RJR wants new customers, they must target young people.

    If cigarette smoking is so dangerous, why is it still legal? Why do we expect companies to sell it but volunteer not to advertise it? They will always bend to economic pressures.

    March 15, 2010 at 14:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Mungo

    RE: Janet "Tobacco addiction is harder to overcome than heroin addiction".

    What planet are you from? To the best of my knowledge, no one has ever sold their body to support their pack a day cigarrette habit.

    March 15, 2010 at 14:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Vincent

    I myself am a teenager..seeing all these stupid children start to fall into a stupid addiction like this is THEIR own fault..cigarette companies do not try to just attract teens but also adults that are trying to rekindle their "youth". I just think if the children and adults are stupid enough to get taken in by the media just let them...less people in this world that I have to worry about.

    March 15, 2010 at 15:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. frank

    If i were the tobacco c.o. i stop advertizing, and save lots of money.i dont think it going to hurt sales. and it will put an end to non smoking dictators. and give smokers freedom.

    March 15, 2010 at 16:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Josie Behnke

    Hm, let me get this straight...magazines like Glamour, Lucky and Vogue put these ads in and they were geared towards teenage girls. My first question is HOW, most readers of these magazines are women (now if Seventeen was on the list...that is a teenage based magazine!). Most teens if they have read these, are probably reading their mom's copy of the magazine!

    I've been smoking for years, and no it wasn't some ad that started me, it was a few friends. I do plan on telling my kids about the bad part of smoking...no problems there, in fact I plan on telling them they would be best NOT to start. Most non-smokers has no idea of how addicting these things are really. It's not like some of us don't try to quit, we do for a while and several I know go back (myself included), fully aware of the health risks. We are not stupid. But I wouldn't sue a company for a choice I made either! That and it's not a cheap habit to have!

    March 15, 2010 at 16:57 | Report abuse | Reply
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