Exposing how tobacco companies target kids, bully countries around the world
Feb 17, 2015
The big tobacco companies proclaim loudly and often that they have changed and are now responsible corporate citizens.
But it took just 18 minutes for political satirist John Oliver to rip those claims to shreds and show how Philip Morris International and other tobacco companies target kids around the world and bully countries that try to save lives.
Continue reading John Oliver Takes Down Big Tobacco
Magazine helps tobacco companies reach teens
Feb 12, 2015
Tobacco companies claim they don’t market their products to kids, but their actions continue to show otherwise.
The latest example: Sports Illustrated’s just-published 2015 swimsuit issue, which contains an astounding seven ads for tobacco products. Amid the photos of curvaceous models in barely-there bikinis, there are two ads for cigarette brands (Natural American Spirit and Newport), three ads for the leading smokeless tobacco brands (Grizzly, Skoal and Copenhagen) and two ads for electronic cigarettes (MarkTen and blu).
Continue reading Now on Newsstands: Is it Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit or Tobacco Issue?
Nov 24, 2014
A recent report by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and other public health organizations exposed how Philip Morris International is conducting a global marketing campaign — called Be Marlboro — that uses themes and images that appeal to youth.
Now Philip Morris has canceled a series of concerts in Bangladesh after health advocates protested that the concerts violated the country’s tobacco control laws and marketed cigarettes to kids.
Continue reading Protests Force Cancellation of Marlboro Concert Series in Bangladesh
Huge tobacco ads placed in Sports Illustrated, ESPN magazine
Oct 28, 2014
For millions of fans of all ages, October means the excitement of the baseball playoffs and World Series.
For tobacco companies, it means another opportunity to target kids by associating smokeless tobacco with baseball and other sports.
This month’s issues of the two leading sports magazines, Sports Illustrated and ESPN, have included huge, two-page advertising spreads for Grizzly, which is by far the most popular smokeless tobacco brand among youth ages 12-17. Grizzly is made by American Snuff Company, a subsidiary of tobacco giant Reynolds American.
Continue reading As Young Fans Enjoy World Series, Magazine Ads Link Baseball and Smokeless Tobacco
Tobacco companies exploit patriotism to sell cigarettes
Jul 2, 2014
As we’ve seen time and time again, tobacco companies will take advantage of any opportunity to market their deadly and addictive products.
On Independence Day, we offer a look at just a few of the times Big Tobacco has shamelessly exploited our national pride to sell cigarettes. What these ads leave out, of course, is that tobacco use isn’t a path to freedom, but to addiction, disease and death – 480,000 deaths a year, according to the latest Surgeon General’s report on tobacco and health.
Continue reading Wrapping Death & Disease in Red, White & Blue
Nearly 13 percent of high school boys use smokeless
May 28, 2014
Cigarettes and electronic cigarettes aren’t the only tobacco products being heavily advertised in magazines with large youth readerships.
So are smokeless tobacco products, especially now that the Skoal brand is again advertising in magazines for the first time since February 2009, according to the Trinkets & Trash website, which tracks tobacco advertising.
Continue reading Skoal’s Return Ramps Up Smokeless Tobacco Ads in Magazines
Health groups, government officials join effort to end shameful campaign
May 8, 2014
Youth advocates sent a loud and clear message to Philip Morris International this week: We won’t be Marlboro.
Protesting outside Philip Morris’ annual shareholders’ meeting in New York City on Wednesday, the youth called on the tobacco giant to stop targeting kids and immediately end its “Be Marlboro” campaign that is running in more than 50 countries.
Inside the meeting, health advocates presented Philip Morris with an open letter demanding an end to this ad campaign for best-selling Marlboro cigarettes. It was signed by over 250 civil society organizations and representatives of more than 25 governments.
Continue reading Youth to Philip Morris International: Stop Targeting Kids with “Be Marlboro” Campaign
Philip Morris International ads found to target youth
Apr 21, 2014
Last month, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and other public health groups issued a report exposing how Philip Morris International (PMI) is conducting a global marketing campaign for its best-selling Marlboro cigarettes that uses themes and images sure to appeal to youth.
The “Be Marlboro” campaign has spread to more than 50 countries despite being banned by a German court for targeting teens. The campaign associates “being Marlboro” with falling in love, playing music, partying, engaging in adventure sports and other activities popular with youth.
Continue reading Creative Outrage: Enter our Contest to Expose the Truth about the “Be Marlboro” Campaign
E-cigarette Ad Exploits Santa Claus
Dec 17, 2013
As we’ve documented, manufacturers of electronic cigarettes are using the same slick tactics long used to market regular cigarettes to kids. They have celebrity spokespeople, ads with rugged men and glamorous women just like the Marlboro Men and Virginia Slims women of old, race car sponsorships, sweet flavors and even a cartoon pitchman.
Now one e-cigarette retailer has stooped to a new low in copying Big Tobacco’s playbook. Vapor Shark features Santa Claus in a billboard ad for its e-cigarettes that was spotted on I-95 in Miami.
Continue reading HO HO – OH NO!
Cigarette ad shows disregard for health
Nov 14, 2013
How does the Indonesian tobacco company Djarum celebrate the country’s National Health Day? It places a giant front-page ad for one of its cigarettes in a national newspaper. Then that newspaper happens to make its way onto every seat at the launch event for the Ministry of Health’s National Health Day event.
That’s how bad things are in Indonesia, where tobacco companies have near-free rein to promote and sell their deadly products and newspapers shirk their responsibility to readers by running those ads.
Continue reading Tobacco Company Blows Smoke on National Health Day in Indonesia
Lawmakers call for FDA regulation of e-cigarettes
Nov 4, 2013
Several leading members of Congress are warning of “e-cigarette flashbacks” – advertising and promotions for electronic cigarettes that mirror those long used by cigarette makers to target kids.
The Food and Drug Administration must act quickly to regulate e-cigarettes and protect kids, Reps. Henry Waxman (D-CA), Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Frank Pallone (D-NJ) wrote in a letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg. These lawmakers hold leadership positions on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, serving as Ranking Member (Waxman), Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Ranking Member (DeGette) and Health Subcommittee Ranking Member (Pallone).
Continue reading Members of Congress: E-cigarette Marketing Mirrors Cigarette Marketing that Hooks Kids
Country emerges as global leader in fighting tobacco
Oct 21, 2013
With new action to reduce smoking, Russia has firmly positioned itself as a global leader in the fight against tobacco use, which is the world’s number one cause of preventable death.
Last week, the Russian Duma passed its second major piece of tobacco control legislation this year, giving Russia some of the strongest laws to combat tobacco use. The new law strengthens the comprehensive tobacco control law that President Putin signed in February and has been in force since June.
Continue reading Russia Further Strengthens Laws to Reduce Smoking
Five- and six-year-olds can identify cigarette logos
Oct 7, 2013
Tobacco companies claim they don’t market to kids. But a new study conducted in six low- and middle-income countries provides fresh evidence that tobacco marketing and branding are highly effective at reaching kids.
In the six countries studied – Brazil, China, India, Nigeria, Pakistan and Russia – more than two-thirds of five- and six-year-olds surveyed were able to identify at least one cigarette logo. In China, where smoking rates are among the highest in the world, an alarming 86 percent of children surveyed could identify at least one logo.
Continue reading New Study: Global Tobacco Marketing Impacts Young Kids
(or 7 reasons FDA should quickly regulate e-cigarettes)
Oct 2, 2013
The CDC recently reported that rates of electronic cigarette use among U.S. youth more than doubled from 2011 to 2012, when 10 percent of high school students reported ever having used e-cigarettes.
These numbers are troubling but not surprising. There has been an explosion in e-cigarette marketing in recent years, and e-cigarette manufacturers are using the same slick tactics long used to market regular cigarettes to kids.
Continue reading 7 Ways E-Cigarette Companies Are Copying Big Tobacco’s Playbook
Youth in Canada exposed to Camel cigarette ads in American magazines
Sep 24, 2013
Restrictions in Canada keep glamorous tobacco ads out of magazines. But that doesn’t keep them from coming in from the U.S.
Health advocates in Canada are outraged that glossy, full-page ads for Camel cigarettes have made their way to Canadian youths’ backpacks and bed stands inside recent issues of several American magazines – including Sports Illustrated, People, Glamour, and Entertainment Weekly, among others.
Continue reading Big Tobacco’s Cross-border Pollution
Media campaigns must be expanded and sustained
Sep 23, 2013
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reported that year one of its “Tips from Former Smokers” advertising campaign exceeded all expectations. The 2012 campaign drove 1.6 million smokers to try to quit and helped more than 100,000 to quit for good, according to a study in the medical journal The Lancet.
Continue reading CDC Ads Motivate More Smokers to Try to Quit
A century of death and disease is nothing to celebrate
Jun 18, 2013
The death and disease caused by cigarettes is nothing to celebrate. But that’s not stopping R.J. Reynolds from celebrating the 100th birthday of its Camel cigarettes this year. Their Camel web site touts “A Century of Camel” and urges visitors to “Celebrate the original that sparked a tradition.”
Continue reading Wish Camel cigarettes an unhappy 100th birthday
PT Djarum puts profits over lives
Jun 10, 2013
Indonesia has been called the tobacco industry’s playground due to the country’s large number of smokers and unrestricted tobacco marketing.
In the latest example, Indonesian tobacco giant PT Djarum has placed billboards promoting its L.A. Lights cigarettes with the shameful slogan “DON’T QUIT.” If discouraging smokers from quitting isn’t bad enough, the ad appears to mock efforts to reduce smoking by instead encouraging smokers to “DO IT” and using the slogan “Let’s Do It!”
Continue reading Indonesia Tobacco Giant’s Shameful Billboard Says “DON’T QUIT”
Big step for country where 43 percent of adults use tobacco
May 10, 2013
Overcoming more than four years of delays and strong tobacco industry opposition, the Parliament of Bangladesh has enacted a new law that significantly strengthens the country’s efforts to reduce tobacco use.
The new law is a major step forward in a country where about 43 percent of adults use tobacco, with high rates of both cigarette smoking and smokeless tobacco use.
Continue reading Bangladesh Enacts Landmark Tobacco Control Law
CDC ad campaign tells deadly truth about smoking
Mar 28, 2013
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is launching the second year of its “Tips from Former Smokers” advertising campaign that tells the harsh truth about how devastating cigarette smoking truly is.
Continue reading Former Smokers Are Back With More Tips to Save Lives
Ads show tumor growing on a cigarette
Jan 7, 2013
“We want smokers to understand that each packet of cigarettes increases their risk of cancer.”
That’s how the United Kingdom’s chief medical officer, Prof. Dame Sally Davies, describes a graphic new anti-smoking ad campaign launched by the UK's Department of Health.
Continue reading UK launches graphic anti-smoking ad
International artists perform at industry-sponsored event, help market tobacco to kids
Oct 9, 2012
Thanks to some of the world’s weakest tobacco control laws, Indonesia continues to be the target of rampant, unrestricted tobacco marketing, including industry-sponsored concerts that are banned in the United States and many other countries. Unfortunately, popular international musicians continue to perform at these concerts, helping tobacco companies market their deadly and addictive products to Indonesia’s youth.
Continue reading Same Old Tricks: Big Tobacco Partners with International Music Stars in Indonesia
Video: Tobacco giant questioned on Marlboro-branded kiosk steps from school
Jul 11, 2012
In a new segment, ABC News Nightline returns to Indonesia, a playground for the tobacco industry where tobacco marketing is inescapable and kids can easily buy cigarettes right outside their schools.
Continue reading ABC’s Nightline Investigates Philip Morris International’s Marketing to Indonesian Youth
Landmark case sets precedent for strict enforcement of tobacco-control laws
Apr 11, 2012
A civil magistrate in Pakistan has found the head of marketing for Philip Morris Pakistan Ltd. guilty of violating Pakistan’s law that tightly restricts cigarette advertising, criticizing the executive’s excuse that he didn’t believe placing ads in magazines was the same as putting them in the "press."
The tobacco executive admitted that the company had run the ads, which included full-page, color advertising for Marlboro cigarettes in many of Pakistan’s leading magazines throughout November and December. But he claimed he didn’t realize these ads were subject to restrictions that limit their size and require pictorial warnings – because he believed the word "press" did not include magazines.
Continue reading Guilty: Philip Morris Executive in Pakistan Fined for Violating Advertising Rules
Smokers also seek help online after seeing hard-hitting media campaign
Apr 2, 2012
Calls to the toll-free number that provides help to smokers trying to quit more than doubled in the first week after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention unveiled new anti-smoking ads, which depict former smokers coping with devastating diseases and disabilities caused by their tobacco use.
Continue reading Powerful Anti-Smoking Ads Prompt Record Calls to Quit Lines
Unprecedented national media campaign will save lives and money
Mar 15, 2012
Meet Terrie. She starts her day by putting on a blonde wig and affixing a hands-free device to her tracheotomy hole to help her speak. Meet Brandon, who sits at the edge of his bed to ease on his artificial limbs. And Roosevelt – he’ll show you the deep scar that runs up and down his torso, the result of heart surgery.
These former smokers are the unlikely stars of the new nationwide media campaign aimed at encouraging smokers to quit and preventing children from starting to smoke. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention unveiled the ads at a Washington news conference.
Continue reading Tips from Former Smokers on Why You Should Quit – Or Never Start
Tobacco industry spends over a million dollars an hour on marketing that hooks kids
Mar 8, 2012
Smoking among American youth is a “pediatric epidemic” that isn’t occurring by accident: It’s directly caused by tobacco industry marketing and promotion that entices teenagers to start smoking and encourages their progression to becoming regular smokers.
Continue reading Surgeon General’s Report Shows Youth Smoking is “Not an Accident”
Tobacco company flouted law with magazine ads
Feb 28, 2012
The Marlboro Man has galloped into trouble in Pakistan.
A Pakistani judge has issued an arrest warrant for the head of marketing for Philip Morris Pakistan Ltd., for the company’s blatant violation of laws that tightly restrict tobacco advertisements. Despite the advertising limits, Philip Morris purchased – and magazines published – full-page, color ads for Marlboro cigarettes in many of Pakistan’s leading magazines throughout November and December.
Continue reading Wanted: Pakistan Charges Philip Morris Executive with Advertising Violations
Flavored cigars, free samples and hip-hop imagery target urban youth
Oct 21, 2011
A California-based company is promoting flavored cigars called "Hoodwraps" to inner-city youth, using names such as "Da Bomb Blueberry" and "Swag Berry," and even handing out free samples in downtown Indianapolis.
Trendsettah USA is marketing the cigars with "street teams" — inner-city youth recruited to give out the samples. The slogan for Hoodwraps: "So Hood. So Good." The aggressive promotion has angered local tobacco-control advocates, who note that urban youth in Indiana are more likely to begin smoking at an earlier age than the national average.
Continue reading ‘Hoodwraps’ Don’t Belong in the Neighborhood
Slogan tells kids: “Tobacco helps you become talented”
Sep 28, 2011
In an apparent attempt to lure young smokers, China National Tobacco Corporation (CNTC) is sponsoring at least 100 elementary schools in China.
CNTC financed construction of these schools, which are named after Chinese cigarette brands and sometimes bear slogans such as "Talent comes from hard work, Tobacco helps you become talented." Many of the schools also feature the company's logo of a green tobacco leaf.
Continue reading Big Tobacco Sponsors Elementary Schools in China
Tobacco Company Comes Under Fire for Green Claims
Jul 27, 2011
Cigarettes kill and pollute. There's nothing healthy or environmentally friendly about them.
So it's truly outrageous that the Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company, owned by Reynolds American, is running magazine ads promoting its Natural American Spirit cigarettes as "eco friendly." It's called greenwashing — making deceptive environmental claims to improve the image of a controversial product or company.
Continue reading Causing lung cancer and heart disease the “eco-friendly” way