One of the biggest problems in this world today is under age smoking. Many tobacco companies influence smoking among minors. Minors are potential long-term smokers, therefore most tobacco companies target minors for profit. Tobacco companies target minors only for profit. They know that almost everyone that smokes started before the age of 18.
Tobacco companies target minors in many ways. Minors are targeted with advertisements in many magazines. You can obviously tell tobacco companies are trying to get youths to smoke, because they advertise in magazines that many teenagers read. Teenagers are the majority for being readers of magazines like Cosmopolitan, Sports Illustrated, and Rolling Stone.
Secondly minors are targeted with merchandise. They know attracting kids is a wise investment. They need to replace their consumers who are dying if they want to stay in business. Tobacco companies spend lots of money to make appealing products. For example RJ Reynolds is a very big company that makes Nabisco cookies and cereals. RJ Reynolds is also the company that makes Camel cigarettes. They make cereals and snacks appealing to children. So do you not think they can make cigarettes or related articles appealing? “It is said that 50% of teens who smoke own tobacco gear.”
Tobacco companies also make billboards and posters to encourage teenage smoking. They make ads in ways to show that smoking is a way to fit in. Almost every tobacco ad has a guy or a woman being portrayed as confident, independent, young, and good looking. This gives the wrong impression to boys and girls. It gives impressions like “you can fit in”,” its cool”, and “everyone does it”. Many tobacco billboards and posters for women give the false impression that you will become more confident, lose weight, and become better looking. Smoking may be a way of losing weight, but it definitely does not make you look better. When you look at a tobacco billboard or poster you never notice smoke coming from a cigarette or see a cigarette butt in a person’s mouth. Why do you not see that? It is because smoke coming from a cigarette and a cigarette in someone’s mouth is not appealing.
Sporting events are also places where tobacco companies try to get young ones to try and smoke. But laws now ban showing of Tobacco Company commercials. Even though tobacco commercials are banned, they still show up on television. For example tobacco companies now sponsor races and put logos on cars.
There are many other deceptions that tobacco companies make. Joe Camel was a very publicized character. The company RJ Reynolds created him. Joe Camel was used to influence kids to smoke a lot. You would see him dressed up in a black leather jacket, blue jeans, sunglasses, and always have a cigarette in his hand. A youth would derive the ideal that smoking is cool. In some ads you would see Joe Camel with a friend. When you look closely you see his friend is looking like he is handing a cigarette to someone else. You would also notice he is giving a cigarette to someone smaller than he is.
Tobacco companies also try to get you to believe that smoking is not bad. For example RJ Reynolds, the same company who created Joe Camel and that makes Nabisco snacks like Oreos claims that their Winston cigarettes are safe. They claim Winstons are safe because they contain “no additives”. Does that matter? What about the tar and nicotine? All cigarettes kill.
“When all the garbage is stripped away, successful cigarette advertising involves showing the kind of people most people would like to be, doing the things most people would like to do, and smoking up a storm. I don’t know any way of doing this that doesn’t tempt young people to smoke.”
Reports, March, 1995
Tobacco companies do not want to lose their customers. Tobacco companies say they are not trying to get kids to smoke. But if they are addicting children to become future long term customers and if they make over 1.2 billion dollars a year, do you really think they would want to give that up? Tobacco companies seem to think they can fool all adults and children in thinking they disapprove of under age smoking. Tobacco companies are obviously lying. Secret documents of RJR have been uncovered that prove RJR had intended to target minors with their Joe Camel campaign. Had intended? They still are trying to.