Jul. 10 1997
Washington, DC - Matthew Myers, executive vice president and general counsel of the CAMPAIGN FOR TOBACCO-FREE KIDS, today released the following statement regarding the RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company’s decision to eliminate Joe Camel from its advertising: "Good bye and good riddance. For nearly 10 years the Joe Camel cartoon character has stood as the most glaring example of the tobacco industry’s efforts to market their addictive products to kids. We are extremely pleased that his enticing smile and cool demeanor will no longer appear in the magazines that our kids read or be seen on billboards throughout America." "For years, tobacco control advocates and policy makers have criticized RJ Reynolds for using Joe Camel to sell cigarettes to kids. Throughout the recent settlement negotiations with the tobacco industry, we repeatedly urged the company to demonstrate its commitment to ending this youth marketing scheme by finally retiring Joe Camel. Today it has done that, and we remain hopeful that this will be the first step in RJ Reynolds’ commitment and signal the commitment of other companies to end all tobacco industry marketing targeted to kids." "With the proposed tobacco agreement, we have an historic opportunity to force the Marlboro Man and all other tobacco youth marketing efforts into retirement along with Joe Camel. The proposed tobacco agreement will eliminate the Marlboro Man and prohibit advertising that uses human or cartoon images. In the meantime, we intend to continue keeping a watchful eye on the advertising campaign that will replace Joe Camel, and all tobacco industry marketing."