Tobacco Companies have tricks to sell their products. Don’t be anyone’s puppet!
Big Tobacco refers to the Tobacco Industry – the companies that make commercial tobacco products like cigarettes, chew, snus, cigars, etc. These companies target youth because they need to attract new customers to replace the customers who die from using their products. They have even referred to kids and teens as “replacement customers!” Big Tobacco doesn’t care about you or your family; all they care about is MONEY!!!! $$$
These are some of the ways that tobacco companies try to trick kids into buying and becoming addicted to their products.
The best way not to be fooled by Big Tobacco is to learn all about their tricks!
Nike is a well known and successful company. The fact that they earn only a tiny fraction of what tobacco companies SPEND to advertise their product, should give you an idea about the effort that Big Tobacco takes to advertise their deadly products. It must cost a lot to trick people into thinking a product that will kill you is something you should buy. The true cost of their products is 45,000 Canadian lives a year that are caused by using tobacco industry products.
Do you think that most Doctors would actually say “Luckies” cigarettes would be protection for your throat against coughs? Using Doctors and Nurses as spokes-people for cigarettes is a scary thing because it makes the public falsely believe that cigarettes are safe. The ad on the right says, “For 30 days test “Camels” in your “T-Zone” (T for throat and T for taste). What do you think “Camels” would do to your throat and taste?
Using cartoons was one of BIG TOBACCO’s clever strategies used to trick kids into using their products! Tobacco companies often used images that would appeal to kids (such as Santa Claus) to attract them to purchase their cigarettes and get them addicted young. Although it is now illegal for tobacco companies to use cartoons to advertise to kids, and it is also illegal for them to lie about the safety of their products, they still target young people in their ads and products.
Tobacco companies use magazine ads and marketing campaigns to get young people to buy their product. On the right, multiple cigarette packs are placed together to form a larger picture…like a puzzle. Pretty cool, right? Young people might think that if they try that type of “Kool” cigarettes then they will be as cool and popular as the people partying on the package. The magazine ad on the left was in Rolling Stone magazine. Who do you think this ad appeals to? (let students answer) Young people who like music and consider themselves strong, independent, and cool. The slogan “Be True” appeals to young people striving to be independent. Tobacco companies have spent a long time developing the association between smoking and being cool and rebellious. Even the brand of these cigarettes is named “KOOL”. But again what is smoking in reality. It is an addiction, where you are dependent (NOT independent).
Who would guess that this entire two paged ad was for cigarettes? Who are the tobacco companies trying to appeal to using this ad? Women and girls who like to “dress up”. The ad treats the cigarette packs like another accessory to a glamourous outfit just like nice shoes or jewellery. Even the colours mimic the cigarette packaging, everything is done to create this association between a fun night out and smoking. In reality, how does smoking make any night more enjoyable? Don’t fall for this sad attempt at making smoking look glamourous because it’s not, and you don’t need tobacco industry products to be fashionable.
What might teens think when they see these ads? These ads all show young athletic men participating in extreme sports. They are strong, brave and fit. What is the truth for people who use tobacco products and their ability to participate in these types of physical activities? The truth is that people who use tobacco industry products will be less able to participate in sports like the ones shown in the ads.
In one cigarette, you will find more than 4,000 chemicals including ammonia, which you find in cleaning products and bleach, methane like what’s found in sewer gas, and even formaldehyde, which can be used to preserve dead bodies!
Spit tobacco comes in two main forms; chew tobacco (like plug and twist) is in a leafy form that is rolled into a wad and chewed and snuff which is finely ground, moist tobacco, which is usually placed in the bottom lip and gum. Even though these products don’t produce second hand smoke, they are still VERY poisonous. They contain over 3000 chemicals, at least 28 of which are known to cause cancer. Nicotine in spit tobacco is 3-4 times as great as that in cigarettes; this means, an average size wad of chewing tobacco held in a person’s mouth for thirty minutes is equal to smoking three cigarettes. Although you may not be filling your lungs with smoke, you are causing serious harm to other parts of your body. There is no safe level of use of chew, it can lead to a variety of health related illnesses such as addiction, oral cancer, gum disease, heart disease, stroke, and death. Ads for chew suggest that if you aren’t harming other people then you can’t be harming yourself, right? Wrong. Gruen VonBehrens was 13 when he tried spit tobacco (dip) on a camping trip with friends. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a one-time deal. Gruen ended up with a powerful addiction that changed his life forever. Just four years later, at the age of 17, he was diagnosed with oral cancer. To fight it, he’s been forced to endure 35 painful surgeries, including one radical surgery that removed half of his neck muscles and much of his tongue.
Young people are much more likely to use flavored tobacco products than adults, and tobacco industry documents show that companies have designed flavored cigarettes with kids in mind.
Flavored tobacco products include smokeless tobacco, chewing tobacco, snuff, snus, cigars, cigarillos and dissolvable tobacco. These products, containing flavors like vanilla, orange, chocolate, cherry, and coffee, are especially attractive to youth. Can you tell which of these products are the tobacco products? Candy and fruit flavors mask the bad taste of tobacco, making it easier for kids to start using tobacco products. Once they start using one tobacco product, they are more likely to experiment with others. Studies have found that young smokers report choosing flavored products over non-flavored cigarettes because they “taste better” and are perceived to be “safer.”
It’s no mistake that the tobacco industry packages their products to resemble candy, gum or other harmless products. Besides the fact that this marketing trick is intended to fool youth into thinking that their products are “normal” it can also give youth the idea that they are “safe” when they are NOT! Tobacco products disguised as candy can also mislead adults who may see their child or student with a tobacco product. It is important for EVERYONE to be able to recognize these harmful and addictive products.
New tobacco products are popping up in different shapes and forms that were never associated with tobacco before, mimicking tea bags, breath-strips, mints, and toothpicks. They're flavored, so they appeal to people not used to tobacco. They're discreet, because of their mint tin-like packaging. They're addictive, having just as much nicotine as cigarettes. It's easy to see how the flavoring, packaging, and marketing of these new products would appeal more to youth, especially those who have never consumed tobacco before.
E cigarettes are electronic cigarettes. At first e-cigarettes were marketed heavily as a quit aid or healthier alternative. However these products have not been considered “safe” by Health Canada and they do emit a vapour (smoke) which has some of the same toxins as cigarettes. The tobacco industries are now purchasing e-cigarette companies and these products are now being advertised in many of the same ways as tobacco products. Since they do not fall under “no smoking” policies, people can “legally” use them indoors, in cars, and other places where there are “no smoking” rules. The problem with this is that kids would not be able to tell the difference between someone smoking a real cigarette and someone smoking an e-cigarette and that could influence them. These products also appeal to youth because they come in a variety of flavours and also utilize new technology that youth would like.
The pressure to look cool is a big temptation for young people when it comes to Tobacco products. Tobacco companies pay big bucks to have celebrities that are popular among young people smoke in magazines and movies to make it look cool and appealing.
Tobacco companies also rely on the fact that they know tobacco, especially chew/snuff, is common in sports. This is how most guys get hooked young, trying to be like their favorite baseball or hockey stars.
If you’ve been to the movies recently, there’s a fair chance you have seen movie stars using tobacco products on the big screen. The number of movies aimed at young people that showed scenes of people smoking rose between 2010 - 2011, after a five-year decline. Some of the movies that showed tobacco use were aimed at young children, such as The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1, Moneyball, X-Men: First Class and even the cartoon Rango . Children who watch movies that show the use of tobacco products are more likely to try it themselves. Researchers found that young people who watched the highest number of scenes in movies that showed characters smoking were the most likely to later go on to smoke.
Don’t let big tobacco companies manipulate you! You are no ones puppet!