Apr. 24 2006
Washington, DC — The tobacco companies never miss an opportunity to claim they are reformed and no longer want kids to smoke. But their actions continue to show otherwise. For example, the most recent actions by the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, the company that once marketed cigarettes to kids with the cartoon character Joe Camel, are as egregious as ever. In the past two years, R.J. Reynolds has with increasing frequency introduced youth-oriented marketing campaigns and has stepped up their efforts around the country to defeat proven measures to reduce smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke, such as cigarette tax increases and smoke-free workplace laws.
What has the current R.J. Reynolds been doing?
R.J. Reynolds' marketing behavior led the U.S. Department of Justice in 2005 to call the company a "serial violator" of the 1998 state tobacco settlement. State attorneys general have sued R.J. Reynolds numerous times for violating the settlement's prohibition on marketing to children. R.J. Reynolds' efforts to defeat public policies that have been proven to reduce tobacco use are equally egregious. For example:
In fact, R.J. Reynolds has become increasingly desperate in its efforts to defeat cigarette tax increases, smoke-free workplace laws and other tobacco prevention measures because a growing number of states and communities have adopted these measures and are enjoying the many health and financial benefits that result from them. Dating back to 2002, 41 states have increased cigarette taxes, more than doubling the average state cigarette tax from 43.4 cents to 91.7 cents a pack. Thirteen states, Washington, DC and Puerto Rico have now passed strong smoke-free laws that include restaurants and bars, as have hundreds of cities and countries. These measures are proven to reduce smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke, thereby improving health, saving lives and saving billions of dollars in tobacco-caused health care costs. Only the tobacco industry's bottom line suffers.
View a list of the most egregious examples of R.J. Reynolds' harmful actions since the 1998 state tobacco settlement.