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Wish Camel cigarettes an unhappy 100th birthday

June 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.”

Today, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids launched a social media campaign highlighting Camel’s true legacy – a century of death and disease – and its long history of marketing to kids. Every day for the rest of the week, we’ll be posting an unhappy birthday card to Camel with a reminder of the devastating consequences of smoking.

We’re sharing the cards on Facebook and Twitter and also posting them at We hope you’ll help us fight Big Tobacco and tell the truth about Camel by sharing the cards as well.

Here are just a few reasons to wish Camel an unhappy birthday:

  • Cigarette smoking is the No. 1 cause of preventable death in the United States. It kills 443,000 Americans and costs $96 billion in health care bills each year.
  • 90 percent of adult smokers began at or before age 18, and another 3,500 U.S. kids smoke their first cigarette each day.
  • The Camel brand has a long history of marketing cigarettes to kids – and getting in legal trouble for it. From 1988 to 1997, Camel targeted kids with a cartoon character, Joe Camel, significantly boosting its market share among youth smokers.
  • Camel today is one of the three most popular cigarette brands among youth smokers, with 15.1 percent preferring Camel.

Help us spread the word that Camel’s 100th birthday is no reason to celebrate by sharing an unhappy birthday card to Camel.