Teen Smoking Essay, Research Paper
Responsibility of Tobacco Companies in Advertising for Teenagers
In this world today, smoking is rising rapidly. Teenagers at a young age start to smoke for a number of reasons. It is to easy today to get addicted to cigarettes from the advertisements and wanting to imitate a character you have seen smoking. Cigarettes can be bought easily and teenagers get hooked on them fast. People in the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have tried to get kids to stop smoking for years, but the advertisements keep bringing them back and getting new customers all the time especially teenagers. This paper explains how tobacco companies get teenagers to smoke by using advertisements that appeal to their age group.
Most teenagers start smoking at an early age. Most students start smoking in the 12-16 age groups. Peer pressure and smoking parents are what usually drive most teens to smoke. Because they think that smoking will handle their problems. It won t, it just gets you addicted so that you want to smoke all the time.
Advertisements are another reason why teens start smoking at an early age. Joe Camel was one of the many ways of advertising to get teens to smoke. Joe s cool image, Jodie Bernstein, a director of the FTC s Bureau of consumer Protection said, was used to create a character whose acts and deeds corrupt children and get them to start smoking and acting like the cartoon they like. (A1)
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and its advertising agency have denied targeting to young children, but the ads, which started in the U.S. nine years ago, have become a focal point of outrage from health groups. The FTC hopes to eventually restrict the ads to adult-only places like nightclubs and bars, and also force the R.J. Reynolds Company to conduct educational programs to keep children from smoking.
The Federal Trade Commission charged the R. J. Reynolds Company with illegally introducing children to smoke with its Joe Camel cigarette advertising campaign. The cartoon camel violates federal law that prohibits the marketing of cigarettes to children.
The number of youths taking up smoking has jumped 73% between 1988 and 1996. About 1.2 million Americans under the age of 18, started smoking daily, but more that 1/3 of high school students who try cigarettes, develop a daily habit before they graduate. About 36% of the students who ever smoked said that their smoking escalated to at least a cigarette per day. At this rate, smoking for teenagers has increased 50%, or 77 out of every 1,000 non-smoking teenagers picked up the habit. Seventy percent of high school students said that they had tried cigarettes at least once, but between 33-50% of people who ever experimented with cigarettes, became regular smokers.
The two cigarette companies, Winston and Camel, had been losing sales since the mid 1960 s. But when the Marlboro Man ad campaign, which was considered the most successful ad campaign in the history of advertising, featured men in cowboy hats, boots, and chaps, sales among young people surged. The last thing on the cigarette companies minds is to lose sales. They want to keep sales up and sell as many products as they can to minors and adults.
Joe Camel attracted young people to smoke. France in the 1970 s launched the campaign that was a smashing success among youngsters. The French campaign was about as young as you can get, and aims right at young adult smokers that Camel needs to attract.
February 1, 1985 focus groups found that the earlier French camel ads were well received due to the fun/humor aspects, but the main drawbacks include that they may be appealing to an even younger age group.
In March 1985, the funny French camel print ad and T-shirt campaign, using a cartoon camel, had been designed to youthen the brand. Young people represent tomorrow s cigarette business, a representative said from the camel Tobacco Company (29). As the 14 to 24 age group matures, they will account for a key share of the total cigarette volume for at least the next 25 years. Cigarette companies want to make their markets grow and expand with the new smokers, that even includes selling to youths to make their market successful.
When the price of cigarettes went down 44%, junior high school students were smoking more than usual because the prices were not as high on cigarettes. The number of teens who smoke at least occasionally, jumped to 27.8% and in 1991, it dropped down to 22% because people started taking up smoking as a daily habit.
Between 1979 and 1989, the number of teens from 15 to 19 years of age, had smoked at least occasionally, was cut in half to 23%. But 30% of the U.S. high school seniors, who smoked through the 1980 s, saw an amazing increase in their daily habits. The 16 to 25-year-old range are soon to be three times as important to tobacco companies as a prospect in any other broad age category.
Teenagers like sweet products, so if the tobacco companies come up with a sweet product that a teenagers likes and enjoys, then they have just added another customer to their market.
A memo that came out in 1973 talks about marketing KOOL menthol cigarettes to African Americans, noting that black smokers make up 30% of the market for the brand. KOOL showed little or no growth in the 26 plus age group. The growth was from the 16 to 25 age group. At this rate, a smoker in the 16 to 25 age groups will soon be 3 times as important to KOOL as a prospect in any other broad age category.
Many bills and lawsuits have been put against tobacco companies for marketing to minors. A tobacco bill that was put out a few years ago imposed financial penalties on cigarette companies that did not reduce their sales to youngsters by 30% over the next 5 years and 60% over the next decade.
Cigarette companies did not like that at all. Here is what they did. Cigarette companies reluctantly agreed to pay the government up to 2 billion dollars in annual look-back penalties if youth smoking did not fall enough. The fees would have been paid by the industry as a whole; with out reference to which brands were popular with young people.
The FDA wants to classify cigarettes as medical devices that can deliver nicotine to the human body. Its argument is voluminous evidence that the industry has long been aware of nicotine s addictive properties, a charge the industry denies a lot. But the FDA has also assembled an alarming body of research about the growth of smoking among children and their vulnerability to cigarette advertising. One study said that more 6-year-olds could identify Joe Camel than Ronald McDonald.
Fearing that the new rules on cigarettes that are being made all the time would put a ban on cigarettes, the FDA began negotiations with the White House on a legislative compromise. The White House, on the other hand, has a long way to go before it will be able to steer teens away from smoking.
The FDA said that they would ban sales to teenagers under 18 and make retailers check for photo ID as a proof of age so that they know they are of age to buy cigarettes. This plan would prohibit vending machine sales and bar outdoor advertising within 1,000 feet of schools and playgrounds.
Smoking is a bad habit that people start when they are young. They think it is cool to smoke, and if they don t smoke, they can t be cool. Well the smarter people in the world don t smoke because they know what it can do to you. Smoking is a disgusting habit that is hard to break. People waste hundreds of dollars a day on cigarettes because they are addicted to them and they need them. If anybody is smart enough not to smoke, then they made a good choice in their lives. I think that a person that doesn t smoke made the smarter choice then the person who chose to smoke.