Tag Archives: cigarette advertisements

FTC Discontinues Tar and Nicotine Test

After 42 years, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has ended a test to measure the amount of tar and nicotine in cigarettes.

According to the Associated Press, the FTC decided to discontinue the testing for two reasons: the test itself was flawed, and tobacco companies could use the results to promote one brand of cigarette over another.

The test was known as the Cambridge Filter Method, the A.P. reports, and on Nov. 26 the FTC commissioners voted unanimously to discontinue it. Saying that the FTC would no longer be a “smokescreen” for tobacco companies’ marketing programs, Commissioner Jon Leibowitz told the wire service, “Our action today ensures that tobacco companies may not wrap their misleading tar and nicotine ratings in a cloak of government sponsorship.”

Over the years, many cigarette advertisements had promoted low tar and nicotine levels in some brands, using the phrase, “by FTC method.” Insofar as the testing itself was concerned, it had long been criticized by scientists because it never took into account how people smoked, such as how deeply they inhaled, the A.P. reports.

Cigarette Smoke The National Cancer Institute acknowledged that the Cambridge Filter Method did measure changes in design and quantity of tar and nicotine, but there has never been any evidence that so-called light cigarettes reduced disease caused by smoking, the wire service reports.

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

Those Who Don’t Know History…

I’ve been on my high horse today about Big Tobacco trying to squirm out of facing responsibility for killing people.

I do recognize my own responsibility of making the initial choice to try a sickarette.

But I also feel it’s appropriate for BT to accept its role in making sure people stay “life long customers”.

So I looked something up in a great body of information that you can find at your fingertips in Answers.com about Big Tobacco and it’s interesting reading.

Thought I would share it with you. There’s a lot of history preceding this clip, mostly telling about how American and European cigarette manufacturing grew and eventually a monopoly of sorts was formed and subsequently broken up.

Then… (emphasis added below are my own)…

In 1913 the newly independent R. J. Reynolds launched Camels, the “first modern cigarette.” Camels were quickly imitated by American’s Lucky Strike and Liggett and Myers’ revamped Chesterfield cigarettes.

All three brands stressed their mildness and catered their appeal to men and women alike. The 1920s saw the “conversion” of many tobacco consumers to the cigarette in the Unites States, United Kingdom, Europe, China, and Japan. In the full entry on The Tobacco Industry we learn between 1920 and 1930, U.S. cigarette consumption doubled to 1,370 cigarettes per capita.

The article goes on to talk about how marketing played a vital role. I remember cigarette ads talking about how doctors preferred this over that brand, and how much better for you one cigarette was than another. I can’t tell you how strong an influence these clever ploys had over what was and wasn’t accepted.

The article continues:

Prior to World War II, cases of lung cancer were relatively rare in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada, the heaviest-smoking countries, but rates in men were rising fast…

A lot of issues were being raised and health concerns were at the top of the list, but Big Tobacco did its best to allay the fears and by the 60’s just about everybody smoked “filtered” cigarettes because BT had assured the world were “…less harsh and harmful…”

The Long Road Ahead, The Long Road Behind…are doomed to repeat it. And so it has gone, and all the while the government taxed the sale of tobacco products and increased its revenues. While they got money that way, money also entered government in the form of lobbyist funding. The more our government depends on these revenues, the more it can be said that it is also becoming addicted, though not in the sense we’re addicted as individuals.

Honestly – it has to end somewhere. If we know the history of the industry, and if we can apply the mental facilities with which we are blessed and learn from our mistakes, we should be able as a society to stop the madness and end the senseless suffering and death of consumers who just didn’t understand the real consequences of their choices.

We all have to accept responsibility for our actions. Let’s examine who is responsible for what, and govern ourselves accordingly.