Tag Archives: tobacco marketing

Kick Butts Day(s) the Young People’s Great American Smoke Out

Quitting smoking is hard.

And the more help and support that we can give smokers to help them quit, the better off we all – men, women, children, dogs, cats, etc. will be.

March 24th was the 15th Annual Kick Butts day celebrated across the country.

Kids and young adults across the country will stand up to ask legislators to protect them from the tobacco industry. Protect them? The tobacco industry is not pulling teens and young adults out of their beds, homes or schools and telling them that they must smoke cigarettes or else.

Kick Butts Day – Are They Sending the Wrong Message?

toxic cigsThe way this Kick Butts Day is designed is open for discussion, because the creators of the day are pointing fingers at the legislators, the tobacco industry and everyone else except those that are currently smoking. Why should just legislators and the tobacco industry get all the blame? Yes, advertising campaigns that target youth is an indirect way to entice young adults to start smoking, but they didn’t force them …did they? Why are the creators of this day not also taking responsibility?

What if the Kick Butts Day focused more on getting teens and young adults to quit if they have started smoking and their friends rallying in support of them quitting. The day could commemorate the commitment to quitting, like a commitment to sobriety. The Kick Butts Day could be rallying around those that we know smoke and asking them to commit to quitting while also pointing them to support systems to help them.

What if we also celebrated those who have quit! Honoring them for taking responsibility for their life, health, and the impact smoking has on their loved ones. We could also remember  those we have lost to cigarette smoking.

Putting a Positive Spin on a Positive Effort

We have rehabs for alcohol, drugs, sex, gambling, perhaps we need more rehab centers offering innovative approaches to smoking cessation. And we don’t need rehab centers because if we can rally to vote, rally to fight for healthcare, then we can rally to help teens and young people quit on the Kick Butts Day.

So let’s take a step to help smokers stop. An educational and positive spin on this day could implemented, instead of just name calling, or what some might label as cry baby blaming and finger pointing at legislators and the tobacco industry. The Kick Butt Day creators could make this a day of positive action rather than a day of focusing on negative reaction.

A Different Approach

Let’s think about this a moment.

Kick Butts Day could be a rally cry one day each month of the year. One day a month could be a way to check in and hold accountable those who have made the commitment to quit smoking.

One day a month and if that is too much then one day every three months those that have committed to smoking will be obligated to answer to their peers, parents, friends, etc. as to what they are doing and if in fact they have quit.

Diaries should be kept on a daily basis so that the potential quitters are mindful of what they have promised to do and make note of the bad habits that keep them from fulfilling their commitment to quit smoking.

This would certainly be a morale booster for those who have quit and an example to peers and those who want to kick but have been afraid to try.

Kick Butts Day could create a movement to eradicate the need to smoke if we focus inwards instead of outwards.

notable references:

Georgia Kids ‘Kick Butts’ on March 24 – CNBC

On March 26 at Manteo High School in Manteo, students will hold a cigarette butt cleanup to determine if the tobacco-free campus policy is successful. …

STUDENTS at Joseph Priestley College tackled the effects of smoking in association with National No Smoking Day last week.

Tobacco Industry Marketing in Indiana Tops 239 Million

While cigarette companies are subtle in their approach, they have aggressive intentions.

The tobacco industry spends an estimated $239 million annually for marketing in Indiana alone.

This is a lot of money, perhaps it is because they need to find replacement smokers, because their loyal customers are dying every day.

~ Our View – IndyStar

Camel No. 9 sounds pretty, but it’s not.

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.

Killer Marketing

Nowhere in any industry does the term “killer marketing” apply better than in Big Tobacco.

If Big Tobacco is successful in marketing its products to existing addicts, ex addicts and new victims, it will definitely kill its target audience.

And it seems that marketing executives have become so “clever” (if that’s the word you would use to describe somebody who’s found a way into talking somebody into doing something that will end his or her life) it frightens me.

One of my Quit Buds has been smoke-free for 233 days. Her addiction manifested in the form of Camels before she decided to break free. I can’t imagine that a tobacco company could know that she specifically had quit, or hadn’t purchased any of their product in over 200 days… but something caused them to decide to send her some coupons this week. They had never sent her coupons in the mail before. It freaked her out.

What was worse – they came in the exact shape and size of a pack of sickarettes.

Her words are the best to use in describing her feelings…

I about screamed. I was feeling so weak and I thought they had mailed me a pack of cigarettes… I opened it really slowly, like I was defusing a bomb or something… later I laughed at my overreaction…

Maybe to a tobacco company, that would be cause for laughter. Not for me. As she told me of her experience I was almost numb with shock. I’m about 440 days into my Quit (438 to be exact) and if that had happened to me, I would have over-reacted. I would have rushed to the kitchen and found the tongs in the utility drawer.

Smoking Camel PictureI’d don my HAZ-MAT gear and put on rubber gloves, and take those tongs to pick up the pack with. Carefully… slowly… I’d put the pack into the sink and turn on the water – full force! While the water rushed over the pack, I’d take my meat tenderizer and pound the stuffings out of the pack and let the water rinse away the whole mess. Then I’d turn on the garbage disposer and leave it running for 20 minutes. That’s nothing to play with!

Now I’m seeing Homer Simpson in my head. [rolling eyes]

I keep a stack of index cards handy, where I used to keep my pack of smokes. There are about 75 cards in the pack. It grows over time because on each card I have carefully written one reason why I enjoy being free, one benefit to not having to be a slave to a tobacco addiction any longer, one phrase or comment a family member has made to tell me how glad they are I’ll be around a while longer than if I’d continued to smoke.

So if I ever do get a piece of “killer advertising”… I’ll be ready with my own pack to reach for.

~GareK