May 23, 2014

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Tobacco companies claim they have smokers' interests at heart when they oppose tobacco tax increases. But they are all too willing to exploit smokers for their own financial gains, as shown by a USA TODAY story this week.

USA TODAY reviewed companies in the Standard and Poor's 500 and found that three tobacco giants — Philip Morris International, Altria and Lorillard — are among the top 10 with the biggest profit margins, a measure of how much companies keep of every dollar in revenue after paying expenses. The three tobacco companies all have profit margins of over 40 percent.

May 21, 2014

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Manufacturers of electronic cigarettes keep saying they don’t market to kids. They claim their target audience is current smokers. So how, exactly, does a video called “How to Twerk: A helpful how-to for would-be booty-shakers” fit into that strategy?

The latest addition to blu e-cigarettes’ YouTube page – and to their website – features entertainer Big Freedia teaching cheering young adults how to shake their stuff. The twerking dance craze became nationally notorious thanks to Miley Cyrus’ performance at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards.

May 20, 2014

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Last week, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids honored our Youth Advocates of the Year, extraordinary young leaders who are working to make tobacco history and create a tobacco-free generation.

We proudly honored them at our 18th annual Youth Advocates of the Year Awards Gala in Washington, D.C., attended by more than 400 public health, political, civic and business leaders.

May 8, 2014

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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.

Apr 22, 2014

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What is “greenwashing?” It’s a deceptive marketing practice in which a company attempts to make itself or its products appear environmentally-friendly in order to distract from an undesirable aspect of its business.

On Earth Day, you need look no further than the Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company, a subsidiary of Reynolds American, and its Natural American Spirit cigarettes for a particularly deplorable example of this strategy.

Apr 21, 2014

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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.

Apr 3, 2014

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On Kick Butts Day, March 19, thousands of youth and public health advocates across the country stood up to Big Tobacco. In events in their schools and rallies at state capitols, they spoke out against the industry’s deceptive marketing – and their voices were heard.

Why is Kick Butts Day important? We couldn’t say it better than these supporters, whose messages were amplified in newspapers, on TV and in blogs.

Mar 26, 2014

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Across the United States, poison control centers are reporting a soaring number of accidental poisonings related to the nicotine liquid used in electronic cigarettes.  These reports have spurred a growing call for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to finally regulate these products, including from newspaper editorials and U.S. senators.

Mar 12, 2014

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As revealed by a report issued today by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and other international public health groups, Philip Morris International (PMI) is conducting a global marketing campaign for its best-selling Marlboro cigarettes – called “Be Marlboro” – that uses themes and images sure to appeal to youth.

The campaign has spread to more than 50 countries despite being banned by a German court for targeting teens and generating similar complaints in other countries.

“Be Marlboro” ads feature attractive young people partying, falling in love, playing music and engaging in adventure sports such as snowboarding and surfing – in short, things youth around the world aspire to do.

Mar 10, 2014

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Youth across America will stand up to Big Tobacco on Kick Butts Day, just nine days away on March 19, 2014.

In the fall, our Kick Butts Day team invited youth across the country to submit original public service announcements as part of our annual Kicking Butts on Film PSA Contest.

We received dozens of creative entries from all over the U.S.  These videos showed how tobacco continues to effect America’s youth in their daily lives – and how many of them are galvanized to continue the fight.

Mar 7, 2014

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This week, the Los Angeles and Long Beach City Councils voted to prohibit use of electronic cigarettes in restaurants, bars and other public places and work places where cigarette smoking is also prohibited. San Francisco is considering similar legislation and a vote is anticipated soon.

Feb 24, 2014

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Manufacturers of electronic cigarettes have repeatedly claimed they don’t market to kids. But their actions tell a different story.

In the latest example, Lorillard Inc. has placed an ad for its best-selling blu eCigs in the just-published swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated, no doubt one of the favorite magazines of teenage boys.  The ad features the blu logo front and center on the skimpy bikini bottom of a shapely model.  You can even zoom in on it on the online version of the ad.

Feb 18, 2014

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Seven U.S. senators have written to Walmart urging the retail giant to follow the example of CVS Caremark and end sales of cigarettes and other tobacco products.

“We write to urge Walmart, as the number one retailer of cigarettes in the country, to stop selling tobacco products in all of its stores,” the senators wrote. “We recognize the legality of selling and profiting from tobacco products; however, Walmart’s position as the nation’s largest retailer of any kind puts your company in a unique position to contribute to the health and well-being of all Americans.”

Feb 11, 2014

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The Real Cost, the FDA’s new public education campaign aimed at preventing youth tobacco use, launches nationally today across multiple media platforms including TV, radio, print and online.  It will run for at least a year.

Daniel Giuffra, one of our 2013 Youth Advocates of the Year, represented his peers at the Feb. 4 launch event in Washington, D.C. Now a freshman at Washington University in St. Louis, Daniel considers himself “a teenager who wants to help other teens understand the risks of tobacco use.”

Feb 11, 2014

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Bloomberg Philanthropies has been named one of the most innovative companies in the world by Fast Company as part of its annual guide to business performance and creativity. Focusing on the foundation's results-oriented approach to tackling the world's most important issues, the magazine hails Bloomberg Philanthropies’ data-driven philosophy and highlights its role in driving progress against tobacco use.

Feb 10, 2014

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Eight U.S. senators today sent letters to the CEOs of two major drug store chains – Walgreens and Rite Aid – and the president of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores urging that other pharmacies follow the lead of CVS Caremark and stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products. 

 

Feb 7, 2014

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Since CVS Caremark announced its decision to end tobacco sales, support has poured in from a range of opinion leaders, including newspapers across the nation. editorials have praised CVS’s leadership and urged other drug stores to follow its example.

Feb 5, 2014

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From President Obama and the First Lady to members of Congress to public health leaders, CVS Caremark’s decision to end sales of tobacco products is being widely hailed as a courageous and historic step that will help drive down tobacco use and improve the nation’s health.

First Lady Michelle Obama thanked CVS and tweeted, “now we can all breathe a little easier, and our families can live healthier.”

Jan 31, 2014

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On February 3, the CDC will launch the third year of its Tips from Former Smokers advertising campaign that has already inspired more than 100,000 smokers to quit for good.

The ads feature the compelling stories of real people who have suffered from tobacco-caused diseases, including cancer, heart attacks, amputations and diabetes complications. The ads counter the $8.8 billion a year marketing barrage of the tobacco industry and tell the harsh truth about how devastating and unglamorous cigarette smoking truly is.

Jan 29, 2014

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Indonesia and Africa are among Big Tobacco’s top targets as the industry increasingly targets low- and middle-income countries in its insatiable quest for profit, no matter the cost in lives and health.

Recent news stories document both the enormous challenges posed by the tobacco epidemic in these countries and regions – and the growing call for strong action to rein in the tobacco industry and save lives.

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