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.
Washington, D.C. – Manufacturers of electronic cigarettes say they want to be part of the solution to the tobacco problem, but increasingly they're behaving just like tobacco companies always have. They’re following Big Tobacco's playbook by marketing their products in ways that appeal to kids, dismissing new research showing a sharp spike in youth use of e-cigarettes and fighting effective regulation to protect public health. These actions underscore why the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must act quickly to regulate e-cigarettes to protect kids and public health and why the states should include e-cigarettes in their laws regulating tobacco products.
WASHINGTON, DC – More than 40 percent of U.S. youth (grades 6-12) who currently smoke reported using flavored little cigars or flavored cigarettes, according to a study conducted by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and published today in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
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.
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.
A growing chorus of elected officials at the state and federal level — 40 state attorneys general and a group of 10 U.S. senators and two U.S. House members — are demanding strong action to stop the marketing and sale of electronic cigarettes to kids.
The attorneys general wrote to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg Tuesday, urging the FDA to swiftly regulate the e-cigarette industry and warning that e-cigarette manufacturers are tempting kids with sweet flavors, cartoon images and television advertising portraying e-cigarette use as attractive — in much the same way cigarette companies targeted children for decades.
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.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Providing the first national data on youth use of electronic cigarettes, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today reported that the percentage of U.S. middle and high school students who used e-cigarette more than doubled from 2011 to 2012. According to results from the National Youth Tobacco Survey, the percentage of high school students who reported ever using e-cigarettes jumped from 4.7 percent in 2011 to 10 percent in 2012, while the percentage using e-cigarettes in the past 30 days rose from 1.5 percent to 2.8 percent. Use also doubled among middle school students. The CDC estimated that 1.78 million U.S. youth had ever used e-cigarettes as of 2012.
As smoking declines in many developed nations, the tobacco industry is increasingly targeting low- and middle-income countries. The industry’s latest target: Myanmar.
As Myanmar emerges from decades of isolation and military rule and international sanctions are lifted, the Associated Press details how tobacco companies – including multinational giants British American Tobacco and Japan Tobacco – are moving in as quickly as possible. And they’re trying to do it under the radar.
Tobacco giant R.J. Reynolds claims it doesn’t market cigarettes to kids. But the company’s actions continue to show otherwise.
The August 2013 issue of Glamour magazine features the world’s most popular boy band, One Direction, on the cover. Inside the magazine, and placed just before the story and photos on the band, there’s a huge, three-page spread of ads for R.J. Reynolds’ Camel cigarettes.
WASHINGTON, DC – The Food and Drug Administration’s strong scientific conclusions today regarding the harmful impact of menthol cigarettes on the nation’s health should prompt the FDA to move as quickly as possible to ban menthol cigarettes in the United States.
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration made history today. The federal agency issued an order permitting the marketing of two new cigarette products, denied four requests to market new tobacco products, and announced that tobacco companies had withdrawn requests to market 136 other tobacco products. It is the first time any federal agency has ever denied permission to a tobacco company to market a new or modified tobacco product because of the threat it poses to public health.
Showing that it’s possible to tune tobacco out of the music industry, this year’s Java Rockin’land music festival in Jakarta, Indonesia, will take place without one of its most infamous acts – the tobacco industry. Java Rockin’land – like many music festivals in Indonesia – has traditionally been sponsored by tobacco companies trying to lure a new generation of smokers. The concert attracts young music fans from across the country – but this year, the tobacco industry won’t be on stage.
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.”
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!”
WASHINGTON, DC – A Vermont Superior Court judge this week ordered the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company to pay $8.3 million for deceptive marketing of its Eclipse cigarettes that violated both Vermont’s consumer protection laws and the 1998 state tobacco settlement, which prohibited tobacco companies from misrepresenting the health consequences of using a tobacco product.
Tobacco control advocates around the world today are marking World No Tobacco Day, organized by the World Health Organization to focus attention on the devastating global toll of tobacco use and the need for nations to take strong action to save lives.
WASHINGTON, DC – Five leading public health organizations are calling on state attorneys general to investigate whether R.J. Reynolds’ new magazine advertising campaign for Camel cigarettes violates the state tobacco settlement’s prohibition on targeting youth.
WASHINGTON, DC – It is troubling news for our nation’s health that marketing expenditures for cigarettes and smokeless tobacco increased by nearly four percent to $8.82 billion in 2011, representing the first increase in overall tobacco marketing since 2003.
At last week’s annual meeting of Philip Morris International shareholders in New York City, CEO Louis Camilleri answered a question from a youth tobacco control advocate by denying that the company markets to kids, saying “That’s just not true. It’s a fable.”
WASHINGTON, DC – In a victory for the nation's health, the U.S. Supreme Court today let stand an appellate court ruling that upheld most provisions of the landmark 2009 law granting the Food and Drug Administration authority over tobacco products, including the requirement for large, graphic cigarette warning labels.
Thanks to strong government action to reduce tobacco use, the tobacco industry's outlook in Latin America is dimming according to new analysis by Euromonitor International, a strategy research group for consumer products.
The analysis cites the example of Chile, which recently became the 14th Latin American country to go smoke-free. In February, Chile implemented a comprehensive tobacco control law that makes restaurants, bars and other public places smoke-free; restricts tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship; and prohibits the use of additives, including menthol, in tobacco products.
WASHINGTON, DC – President Obama has proposed a 94-cent increase in the federal cigarette tax, and increased taxes on other tobacco products, to protect our children from tobacco addiction and save lives. Predictably, tobacco companies and their allies are attacking the proposal, claiming that tobacco taxes aren't a reliable revenue source and unfairly burden poor people.
When young fans attended the Java Jazz music festival in Jakarta, Indonesia, earlier this month, they had to walk through concert grounds plastered with advertising for Djarum Super Mild, the cigarette brand that sponsored the concert.
When performers such as Joss Stone took the stage, they performed under a cigarette logo.
And for weeks before the concert, Djarum promoted its deadly products using the images of music stars, in the process telling kids that smoking is fun and glamorous.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Thousands of kids across America are taking a stand against tobacco today as part of the 18th annual Kick Butts Day. More than 1,200 events are planned nationwide.