HOW DO THE TOBACCO COMPANIES REACH YOU AND INFLUENCE YOU TO BEGIN SMOKING?
The problem is, how do you sell death? How do you sell a poison that kills
350,000 people per year, a 1,000 people a day?
With millions of their customers either dying from tobacco-related illnesses or quitting each year, it is really important for the tobacco industry to keep recruiting new smokers. Since the majority of smokers begin before the age of 18, the industry must reach you with its advertising if it hopes to addict you and a new generation of smokers.
Tobacco marketing is like a balloon. When you squeeze it at one end, it increases somewhere else. As more and more countries impose total or partial bans on tobacco advertising, the industry has proven really good at finding creative new ways to publicize their brands, especially with young people like you.
Tobacco companies promote cigarettes through every imaginable place, including television, magazines and newspapers, billboards, and now, the Internet. There are also “indirect advertising” methods, including sponsoring sporting events and teams; promoting rock concerts and clubs; placing brand logos on tee shirts, backpacks and other merchandise; sponsoring adventure contests; and giving away free cigarettes and brand merchandise in areas where young people gather, such as rock concerts, clubs, and shopping malls. Their target?