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Will New FDA Regulations Backfire and Lend Big Tobacco a Hand?

Government tobacco regulation has been a topic of discussion for years.

Today, the house approved a bill titled, “Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act” that would allow the FDA the power to regulate the sale of tobacco products and the ingredients they contain.

For instance, tobacco companies would be banned from adding fruity flavors or additives designed to hook young smokers.

Look Dad, I Can Smoke, Too

pic-candy-ciggysDepending on your age, you may remember the candy cigarettes given to kids. I remember eating them and mimicking my parent’s smoking habits. In those days, the dangers of smoking was downplayed and the uphill battle to expose their risks had not yet kicked in.

Recently, R J Reynold’s Camel No 9 marketing tactics were similar. They aimed their campaign at young women smokers with packaging that is dressed up in pretty pink, a light and luscious slogan, and parties offering gifts. If this bill makes it through congress, perhaps the FDA will take steps to curb actions that attempt to entice young smokers to the negative effects of smoking tobacco products.

We wonder how closely the FDA will view all the harmful additives in cigarettes, and how much of a difference it will make in the end. The FDA does not have a strong track record in keeping toxic substances out of food or personal care products. Therefore, how well will they regulate products we inhale or chew?

Another thing to consider are the existing cigarette ingredients. If they are to be “grandfathered in” like the cheap ingredients found in many personal care products, the FDA could end up allowing more toxic substances in consumer items than they already do.

Imagine the FDA regulation of tobacco products backfiring and thus supporting Big Tobacco’s idea to manipulate FDA regulation by advertising that their products as “FDA Approved.”  This would give people the wrong idea: that there is a safe cigarette.

Hopefully, by the time this bill is approved, it will be well thought out. At least the government is attempting to take the lead in addressing the unchecked power over people’s health that Big Tobacco has had for years.

Times are changing, this is a good thing.

The “Sunny Side” of Tobacco

Washington, DC, February 22, 2008

In 2008, the truth® youth smoking prevention campaign unleashes music, dancing and cartoons to reveal the “sunny side” of tobacco use and the tobacco industry.

The American Legacy Foundation®’s edgy truth® campaign is designed to educate teens about tobacco by exposing Big Tobacco’s marketing practices, as well as highlighting the toll of tobacco use in relevant and innovative ways.

Facts About the Tobacco Industry

The industry has been found by a Federal judge to have manipulated the amount of nicotine delivered by its cigarettes to create and sustain addiction.1 At the same time, research indicates that nicotine is highly addictive.

Research has shown that the tobacco industry “youth prevention” ads aimed at parents actually increased the likelihood that teens will smoke in the future

Finally, according to the Federal Trade Commission, in 2005 the industry spent nearly 36 million dollars each day marketing its products in the U.S. alone.

The latest truth® campaign aims to shine a light on some of these activities and satirically point out some of the “hidden positives” associated with tobacco.

The “Sunny Side of truth®” television ads unfold in a way reminiscent of previous truth® ads – with young people on the streets doing real truth® stunts like gathering in front of tobacco industry headquarters buildings. But then the spots continue in a saccharin sweet, yet super-sarcastic fashion.

When the young people consider a tobacco fact and the “sunny side” of Big Tobacco, a live singin’-and-dancin’ musical number breaks out. Despite the musical diversion, the ads remain gritty, real, and true to the campaign, delivering a strong anti-tobacco message or illuminating facts about tobacco.

In reality, there is no sunny side to the issue of tobacco use in America; more than 400,000 Americans die each year from tobacco-related diseases, specifically 45,000 African-Americans have lost their lives to tobacco use. The tobacco industry continues to use questionable practices in promoting and marketing its products despite these recent morbidity statistics.

Case Against Major Tobacco Companies

On August 17th, 2006, in the Department of Justice’s racketeering case against the major tobacco companies, a federal court found that the tobacco industry was guilty of more than 50 years of racketeering and fraud in promoting its deadly products.

More recently, in the spring of 2007, one company – R.J. Reynolds – introduced a new product called Camel No. 9, which featured slick black and fuchsia packaging and was heavily advertised in many publications that reach millions of young women. Despite the female-friendly packaging and placement in leading women’s fashion magazines, the tobacco industry maintained that Camel No. 9s were not designed for young women. In November 2007, R.J. Reynolds announced that in 2008, it would not spend money on print advertising, including the Camel No. 9 campaign. However, the product continues to be sold on store shelves and R.J. Reynolds will continue to devote resources to promoting the brand through “bar nights” and other activities.

Sunny side cigarettes

The “Sunny Side of truth®” campaign will roll out the week of January 22, 2008 and run through the end of October 2008. In addition to national television and online advertising, a grant from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) will extend the campaign to smaller, rural markets that have high smoking rates and limited exposure to truth® ads. The CDC recently renewed a three-year $3.6 million matching grant that will allow for higher penetration of truth® ads in smaller television markets.

“With the Foundation continuing to face a decline in funding, our strategy is always to try and extend our resources as best we can while staying relevant with teens,” said Cheryl G. Healton, Dr. P.H., president and CEO of the American Legacy Foundation®. “Whether it’s by watching American Idol and High School Musical, or by tuning in to music on their I-Pods, we know this generation of teens is enthralled with singing and dancing. The ‘Sunny Side’ ads and their music, dancing, and animation are a terrific new approach for truth® to continue to engage teens and share important tobacco facts with them. ” Healton added that the campaign’s robust online presence – both through thetruth.com Web site and various truth® homepages on social networking sites, will also capitalize on music and animation to capture teens’ attention.

The “Sunny Side” television spots all feature music, dancing and lyrics written by established Broadway professionals and performed by actors joined by cartoon characters such as unicorns, Cupids, storks and others. The Sunny Side campaign marks the first time truth® has used animation in its advertising.

Anti-Tobacco TV Spots

The first two television spots, Magical Amount and Typo, roll out in January and February 2008 respectively.

In Magical Amount, a teen is shown setting bear traps in a park in New York City, with a pack of cigarettes as bait. The bear traps serve as an analogy for the addiction faced by potential smokers. A teen begins to speak into a bullhorn, informing the passersby that “In 2006, a federal judge found that, to keep smokers addicted, Big Tobacco manipulated nicotine levels. But too much nicotine can make you sick.” The teens are interrupted by a unicorn who explains “That’s why they need the magical amount.” The unicorn is joined by other fantastical creatures that begin to sing about how the tobacco companies have found the “magical amount” to keep smokers addicted. The ad ends with the teen and the magical characters looking at each other in disbelief. The words “The Sunny Side of truth®!” appear on screen before it fades to black.

Typo opens on some teens in front of a tobacco company headquarters unrolling an enormous document with the heading “Tobacco Related Deaths” printed on it. One teen says “Wait until we show tobacco executives the five million people around the world who died from their products last year,” when the teen with him suggests that “Maybe we’re being too negative. Look on the bright side. Like, maybe it’s a typo or something.” Animated typewriters, documents, and liquid paper then fill the screen and accompany the teens as they sing about how statistics on the millions of deaths from tobacco could have just been a typo. Again, the ad ends with the teens and the characters looking at each other in disbelief. The words “The Sunny Side of truth®!” then appear on screen before fading to black.

Talent and Production

David Yazbek, a Tony-nominated lyricist and composer, wrote the music featured in the campaign. Yazbek is best known for his career as a Broadway composer and lyricist. His two shows, The Full Monty and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, are both hits that have played all over the world (more than 20 countries and counting). The shows received 21 Tony Award nominations combined and Yazbek was twice nominated for Best Score. His score for The Full Monty won him the Drama Desk award for Best Music.

Tom Kuntz directed the truth® television ads. His career spans both advertising and music television, having received awards for his work for well-known companies like Starbucks, Coca-Cola, and Virgin Mobile. His music video for The Avalanches was awarded Video of the Year at the CADs, the United Kingdom’s premiere video award show, while one of his videos for the band Electric Six was named the 4th best video of all-time by Q Magazine

Web and Social Networking

The television spots will be supported by a new Web site design and social networking profiles. The truth.com Web site will feature applications that allow teens to interact with each other and share information related to tobacco and truth®. For the first time, the site will also feature sound effects – from guitar riffs and guitar chords, to game-related “dings, beeps and bongs.”

Similar applications will be used on MySpace, Facebook, Bebo, Hi-5 and Xanga. Features will include:

  • Log Blog – a messaging system enabling teens to send each other virtual messages that appear to be written in poop. This tactic is used to draw attention to the fact that the ammonia found in feces is also a key ingredient in cigarettes.
  • Games like “Key-tar Slayer” – a game that encourages users to play/jam out to the music from the truth® television ads with nothing but their keyboards. A leader board keeps track of those who excel at the game. Previously released truth® games that were popular with teens will also be available on the site.
  • “The Useful Cigarette” – a feature where visitors can learn how the ingredients found in cigarettes and cigarette smoke can also be found in such common household products as toilet bowl cleaner and nail polish remover, along with rocket fuel.
  • Polls – tongue-in-cheek interactive polls related to facts about tobacco.
  • Downloads – Posters, computer desktops kits, desktop wallpaper and buddy icons.
  • Embedded video of Sunny Side ads.

Animation Advertisements

The “Sunny Side of truth®” campaign marks the first time truth® has incorporated animation into its television advertisements. Curious Pictures in New York worked with truth® to create the unique campaign. Curious Pictures is a diversified design and entertainment company producing live-action, special effects, graphics, comedy and animation of all types. Some recent TV shows include Sheep in the Big City and Codename: Kids Next Door, for Cartoon Network, Little Einsteins on Disney, and Hey Joel for VH 1.

Anti-Smoking in the Cinema

“Sunny Side of truth®” will be seen in 2,065 Screenvision theaters across the country. All told, the campaign will be run on nearly 10,000 screens in all 50 states. Screenvision encompasses some the nation’s largest theater chains, including AMC, Hollywood Theaters and Cinema Productions. The campaign will run through the month of April and then again in September.

The “Sunny Side of truth®” campaign was created by the American Legacy Foundation and its partners, Arnold Worldwide of Boston and Crispin Porter + Bogusky of Miami.

Background on the truth® Campaign

truth®, launched in February 2000, is the largest national youth smoking prevention campaign and the only national campaign not directed by the tobacco industry. The campaign exposes the tactics of the tobacco industry, the truth about addiction, and the health effects and social consequences of smoking. truth®, allows teens to make informed choices about tobacco use by giving them the facts about the industry and its products. The campaign was created by the American Legacy Foundation, which was founded as a result of the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement between the tobacco industry, 46 states and five U.S. territories. Payments to the American Legacy Foundation are made on behalf of the settling states.

In February 2005 the American Legacy Foundation released the results of an evaluation of the national truth® campaign that was published in the American Journal of Public Health. The study found that 22 percent of the overall decline in youth smoking during the first two years of the campaign (2000-2002) is directly attributable to truth®. This equates to 300,000 fewer youth smokers in 2002 as a result of the campaign.

The American Legacy Foundation, which provides strategic direction and funding for the truth® campaign, received in 2003 what is likely its final payment to the National Public Education Fund established by the Master Settlement Agreement. Despite its success, the truth® campaign now faces an unprecedented funding challenge.

Source: Black PR Wire Release

Tobacco Companies Target Young Female Smokers: Hot Pink Ladies-Only

We don’t see much of the Marlboro Man anymore, but what about the “Virginia Slims” woman? Everybody knows what happened to him – or them, two of whom died from lung cancer.

She, however, was never quite as iconic. But that doesn’t mean the tobacco companies don’t have a soft spot for women, especially the young ones, according to a new report released Wednesday.

Issued by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the report alleges tobacco companies are trying to cultivate a generation of new users with fruity flavored cigarettes and marketing campaigns that target young people, including young women and girls.

In particular, the report takes issue with a recent R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company campaign that it says is clearly designed to attract girls with hot pink product packaging, ladies-only nights at clubs and cutesy party giveaway bags containing cigarettes, berry-flavored lip gloss and cell phone “bling.”

David Howard, spokesman for the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, said the Camel No. 9 marketing campaign is not about reaching young people. There are 20 million adult women smokers, Howard said, and 19 million of them smoke some brand other than Camel. Health organizations involved with the report, however, insist the ads cross the line against marketing tobacco products to youth. The report was released in collaboration with the American Lung Association, American Cancer Society and American Heart Association.

“It seems pretty clear that the ads were designed to appeal to young girls and 20-somethings,” said Ellen Vargyus, counsel for the American Legacy Foundation, an anti-smoking organization. “From [tobacco companies’] point of view, it’s sound marketing to do that. We know that 80 percent of smokers start before they’re 18.”

“In the days when tobacco companies were not so careful about what they said they used to call teens ‘replacement smokers,’” Vargyus said.

According to the American Heart Association, more than 178,000 women die from smoking-related diseases in a year. While death from uterine and stomach cancer has decreased in the last 70 years, lung cancer has surged among women, with an increase in incidence of almost 400 percent in the last 20 years.

The Camel No. 9 campaign caused quite a stir last fall. A group of 40 U.S. House members sent letters to 11 magazines calling on them to stop carrying the ads. The magazines, and their parent companies after them, either did not respond or refused.

Courtesy of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.If the goal of the ads was to get cigarettes in the hands of young women and girls, tobacco companies chose the right style and place, said Rosemarie Conforti, a professor of media literacy and education at Southern Connecticut State University.

“In the age of age aspiration, there are many teen girls who are reading these magazines because they want to be older,” Conforti said. “Magazines, and they know this, are absolutely the manual on how to be a young woman.”

Conforti said the fashion layout especially is the kind of guide girls love. It tells you how to be sophisticated and fashion-forward in three simple steps, she said, and it shows you the lifestyle that goes along with it through the cigarette ad on the right.

“Obviously, the fourth implied step is: ‘And smoke,’” Conforti said.

As these kinds of ads define what it means to be a woman, Conforti said, they also establish a benchmark against which girls and women measure themselves, having a cumulative impact that is more about long-term effects on lifestyle and less about one particular product.

R.J. Reynolds has said it will not advertise in print magazines in 2008. The Camel No. 9 campaign, however, continues online and through other promotional materials that are given away at bar parties.

“The innocence mixed with the sophistication – the roses and the pink mixed with the black — it’s the two sides that every girl wants to be,” Conforti said. “Sweet and sexy, sweet and sexy, that’s what women hear over and over again. You can either be an angel or a whore, and we don’t have a lot of choices for what’s right down the middle.”

Source: Kahrin Deines, Medill Reports/Chicago

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Launches CancerNo9.com

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids has launched a new anti-Camel No. 9  web site.

Smokers can network through facebook and Myspace and share their stories and provide support for one another.

You can learn how to effectively communicate with the government to get them to reduce the appeal of cigarettes along with other important support and information.

Some other Features:

  • A petition asking editors of women’s magazines to stop running ALL cigarette ads.
  • Fact sheets about women, smoking and health.
  • Media coverage of Camel No. 9.
  • Image gallery of Camel No. 9 magazine ads, postcard promotions and novelty items.
  • Message board to share ideas.
  • Resources pages.

Cancer No 9Visit them on the web at CancerNo9.com
Learn more about Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

Women’s Magazines Should ‘Drop’ Camel No. 9 Cigarette Ads

It is a “big disappointment” that R J Reynolds has “found an ally” in some women’s magazines, which have “sold out the well-being of their readers” by publishing Camel No. 9 cigarette advertisements, Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.) writes in a Washington Post opinion piece.

Reynolds in February launched the brand, which several public health organizations and women’s groups say are targeted at young women.

The company — in an effort to increase its market share among female smokers, who made up about 30% of Camel buyers — packaged the cigarettes in a “hot-pink fuchsia” and a “minty-green teal package” and advertised the brand with the slogan, “Light and Luscious.”

An ad campaign for the brand says the cigarettes are now “available in stiletto,” a longer, thinner cigarette.

Reynolds, which is working with the agencies Agent 16 and Gyro Worldwide, has placed ads in magazines — including Cosmopolitan, Flaunt, Glamour, Vogue, and W — and is distributing coupons and give-away packs at nightclubs (Kaiser Daily Women’s Health Policy Report

According to Capps, she and 40 other members of Congress wrote letters in June and August expressing their disappointment that 11 women’s magazines were running ads for Camel No. 9 cigarettes. Seven of the 11 magazines have responded, but “none has committed to dropping the ads,” Capps said.

Camel Lipstick Ad“No amount of pretty pink packaging can obscure the fact that lung cancer is the No. 1 cancer killer among American women,” Capps writes. She concludes that the magazines need to “drop these ads” because the “health of readers, America’s young women and girls, should be more important than the revenue derived from abetting the tobacco industry” (Washington Post)

All original news and articles at this site are Copyright by their respective owners.

Read more about this topic atThe Washington Post

Light and Lucious: Cigarette Ads Marketing to Young Teen Girls and Women

“Camel No. 9 continues a long history starting in the 1920s of tobacco industry marketing that targets women and turns more young girls into smokers.

These marketing campaigns cynically equated smoking with independence, sophistication and beauty and preyed on the unique social pressures that women and girls face.

And Camel No. 9 is carrying on the shameful legacy of targeted marketing that lures young women and girls into a lifetime of addiction and disease.”

Carter Headrick
Director, Grassroots
Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

Camel No. 9 PackagesClick to view a Slideshow of Camel No. 9 Marketing Tactics and Tobacco Ads

Light and Lucious! Notice the Camel 9 cigarette ad with the girl that looks to be around 18 if that.

Marketing in Magazines: Vogue, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire and InStyle.

Even Direct Mail and Tons of Promotional Gifts

Camel Banks on Allure of No. 9

Curious smokers of both genders have been buying new cigarettes allegedly marketed toward women, while health advocates continue to bristle at the advertising campaign accompanying the new product.

The name of the cigarette, No. 9, calls to mind the name of famous perfumes No. 5 and No. 19 by the legendary design house Chanel. The smokes come in a black box, said to be “dressed to the nines,” trimmed with fuchsia accents. Then there’s the song “Love Potion No. 9” and the movie by the same name that gave Sandra Bullock her big break.

When Janine Paczelt, a manager at The Cigarette Outlet in West Bend was asked about a new cigarette brand, she knew immediately it would be the new Camel.

“Because it’s been on the news, and because it’s the new cigarette – and the new cigarette always causes controversy,” Paczelt said. “Yes, I carry them and, yes, people have asked for them.”

Picture of SmokerMost of Paczelt’s customers seem to buy cigarettes based on price first, then taste. She wasn’t sure how they responded to marketing strategies. She said she had only tried one “No. 9” and described the heaviness of the smoke as between a regular Camel and a Camel Light.

Paczelt said she had a mix of grown men and women asking for the cigarette – no teenagers – more than once a week in the three weeks the outlet has carried it.

“I don’t know the whole women versus men,” said Mary Simon, director of the Council on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse of Washington County. “I know with the marketing to young people some of the tobacco advocates talk about is that it’s more brand recognition – to get kids familiar with their brand so when they are able to legally make that choice they know they’ve heard about a brand.”

Simon said a lot of women continue to smoke because when they stop they gain weight, which makes the No. 9 tagline, “light and luscious” particularly poignant given research has proven an undeniable link between smoking and heart disease and cancer – the top two causes of death among women.

Maggie Seideman is in charge of programming for cardiopulmonary rehabilitation and wellness for SynergyHealth St. Joseph’s Hospital in West Bend, which helps people re-build body strength and make healthy choices following a cardiopulmonary health event.

“We’re seeing them when they need something more than changing brands,” Seideman said. “What brings people to the realization that they need to quit the use of tobacco – even though they’ve smoked for years and feel nothing will ever happen to me, or they’re addicted – is once they develop an issue with their breathing and their heart not working, the pain is greater than the pleasure.”

Seideman also leads a smoking cessation discussion group for people who haven’t had a major health event but want to quit smoking. She said she wasn’t sure how much brand marketing influenced smokers who were trying to quit.

She said no one on her staff had heard of the new cigarette until contacted by the Daily News, but soon after Jessica Podolski, a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee nursing student shadowing the cardiopulmonary staff, received some promotional material in the mail.

“It’s actually kind of elaborate,” Podolski said. “It’s a big box with flowers on it and it says ‘Camel,’ and when you open it up there’s an offer for a free cigarette case.”

Podolski is not a smoker, but signed up with a Camel promotions worker when she was out one night with a smoker friend in order to get more promotional gifts for her friend.

“Now I’m on their list,” said Podolski about the package. “It says ‘show off smoking style’ or something ridiculous. It’s overly apparent that they’re targeting women. It aggravates me that they’re targeting young teenage girls.”

Podolski said she believes the advertising for No. 9’s in magazines targets underage girls because she couldn’t imagine an adult smoker switching brands because of pink accents on the package.

But Jess Paczelt, an employee at Smokes Cigarette Outlet in West Bend – and Janine’s daughter – said a lot of smokers were asking about the cigarette before it even came out, and not just women.

“It’s more a mix,” Jess Paczelt said. “There’s actually a lot of younger men who are buying them.”

The younger Paczelt said about five customers per day buy No. 9s, and the store always orders more for its biweekly delivery.

This story appeared in the West Bend Daily News on March 27, 2007.