Tobacco Marketing – Are You a Target?

targetTobacco companies market their deadly products across the globe.  Their tactics focus on vulnerable populations including those who do not have access to the information or regulations/policies to protect them from this targeted marketing.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), all forms of tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship should be banned. All forms of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship should be banned.  Advertising bans significantly reduce the numbers of people starting and continuing to smoke. Banning tobacco advertising and sponsorship is one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce tobacco use.

The tobacco industry is constantly trying new promotional tactics using nontraditional media to exploit advertising and promotion bans

Examples include:

  • handing out gifts and selling branded products such as clothing, in particular targeting young people
  • “stealth marketing” such as engaging trendsetters to influence people in places such as cafes and nightclubs
  • using online and new media, such as encouraging consumer interaction to design a new pack for a cigarette brand
  • placement of tobacco products and brands in films and television programmes, including reality TV and soap operas
  • corporate social responsibility activities such as donating to charity.

Tobacco industry advertising and sponsorship targets young people.  About one third of youth experimentation with tobacco occurs as a result of exposure to tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship.  Worldwide, 78% of young people aged 13-15 years old report regular exposure to some form of tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship.  In the United States of America, smoking appears in 66% of movies rated PG-13, and adolescents are the most frequent moviegoers.  Additionally, young people aged 13-15 years are up to five times more likely than adults to be offered free cigarettes by a representative of a tobacco company.

A comprehensive ban of all tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship is required under the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).  A comprehensive ban reduces tobacco consumption regardless of a country’s income level.  WHO’s report on the global tobacco epidemic 2011 shows that only 19 countries (representing just 6% of the world’s population) have reached the highest level of achievement in banning tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.

Charities and community projects should never accept tobacco industry support. Tobacco companies use corporate social responsibility activities to promote themselves as good corporate citizens, normalizing tobacco use and creating goodwill in the community.  Consumers should be alert to tactics used by tobacco companies to exploit advertising and promotion bans.

Join us in participating in the dialogue about World No Tobacco Day! Talk about it and Share it. Leave us a comment, Facebook us, or Tweet us @UNMCCRHD @MOTACOmaha using hashtag: #WNTD2013!

SOURCE: http://www.who.int/campaigns/no-tobacco-day/2013/en/index.html

Big Tobacco in the LGBT Community

LGBT flagRecent data shows that 1 in 5 people smoke in the U.S. In the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community smoking rates are almost 70% higher than the general population, killing almost 30,000 LGBT persons every year. But yet, why is it that smoking is still a fad? A research marketing company named Winston Stuart Associates conducted a focus group study in Sacramento and San Francisco which documented why LGBT participants believed smoking prevalence to be high within their communities.  Here’s some of their findings:

  • There is more stress, and cigarettes are a great stress reliever.
  • LGBT people have been told “no” for a long time and smoking is a legal form of rebellion.
  • LGBT people go out at bars/clubs, and cigarettes fit in with the bar scene.

There is a lot to be said about the type of stressors we each go through day to day, but we never really experience what it would be like to outrightly be denied certain rights. Therefore,stressors would be much higher in a population that undergoes this type of scrutiny and discrimination. The warmth and welcome that a cigarette would have to someone that is seeking acceptance, would be a readily available release of the pressures one would experience.

The marketing that has been used by tobacco companies, have been very smart and decisive in the LGBT community. For example there is one ad from American Spirit cigarettes that reads: “Free. to speak. to choose. to marry. to participate. to be. to disagree. to inhale. to believe. to love.  to live. it’s all good.”  This type of messaging pulls on emotions of the LGBT community to market their deadly product.

Learn more about tobacco control efforts in the LGBT community through our partner, the LGBT Network for Health Equity.

Big Tobacco is an industry that builds consumer loyalty through lies and deception.  Learn more about tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship at http://www.who.int/campaigns/no-tobacco-day/2013/brochure/en/index.html.

Join us in participating in the dialogue about World No Tobacco Day! Talk about it and Share it. Leave us a comment, Facebook us, or Tweet us @UNMCCRHD @MOTACOmaha using hashtag: #WNTD2013!

Tobacco Marketing Unfiltered

Tobacco companies spend the bulk of their marketing money at the retail stores with price discounts, prime product placement to attract buyers, and of course, advertisements. In 2008, of the $9.9 billion spent by cigarette companies on overall promotions, $9.2 billion, or 92 percent, was spent on point of sale advertisements, price discounts, promotional allowances, or special deals such as buy-one-get-one-free offers.

The increasing pervasiveness of tobacco promotion in retail outlets has been well documented. A 2008 study in Tobacco Control found that in California, the number of in-store cigarette advertisements increased from 22.7 to 24.9 between 2002 and 2005. An earlier study of California stores found that nearly 50 percent of the tobacco retailers had tobacco ads at young kids’ eye level (three feet or lower), and 23 percent had cigarette product displays within six inches of candy.

The issue of advertising in retail outlets is important because 75 percent of teens visit a convenience store at least once a week and point-of-purchase advertising and displays have been found to increase average tobacco sales by 12 percent.  A study published in the May 2007 issue of Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, concluded that the more cigarette marketing teens are exposed to in retail stores, the more likely they are to smoke, and that restricting these retail marketing practices would reduce youth smoking.

Tobacco companies are well aware of the impact of their marketing.  Now so are you.  Talk about it.  Leave us a comment, Facebook us, or Tweet us @UNMCCRHD using hashtag: #WNTD2012!   

Source: The Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids,  http://www.tobaccofreekids.org/research/factsheets/pdf/0156.pdf