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Cigarette Advertising in America

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Submitted By SleepTwitch
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English in Society and Business I
March 11, 2011
Cigarette Advertising in America Since 1971, the cigarette industry has not been allowed to advertise on the radio or T.V. Nevertheless, this ban on advertisement has not worked so well. This is because advertisements are not the main reason people take up smoking. Another reason is that the cigarette industry has gotten around the ban by using forms of hidden advertising and corporate sponsorship. The cigarette industry also relies on the printing media to advertise its product. Smoking has become influential to both teens and adults due to many different forms of advertising. Up until 1971, cigarettes had been advertised like all other products, but health concerns led to a government-imposed ban on broadcast advertising. In April of 1970, congress passed the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act, which banned the advertisement of cigarettes on radio and T.V. It also required a stronger health warning on cigarette packages, saying “Warning: The Surgeon General Has Determined that Cigarette Smoking Is Dangerous to Your Health”. [1]This government-imposed ban was executed on January 2, 1971. [1] Although this Act did not stop Smokeless tobacco ads, a second ban took effect on august 28, 1986 banning all smokeless tobacco ads. [2] In 1984 the Comprehensive Smoking Act was implemented by the congress. This act was put in place by the federal trade commission to control the size, wording and application of warning requirements on tobacco products. [4] All tobacco packages were to have one of the following labels: “SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING: Smoking Causes Lung Cancer, Heart Disease, Emphysema, And May Complicate Pregnancy” or “SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING: Quitting Smoking Now Greatly Reduces Serious Risks To Your Health” or “SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING: Smoking By Pregnant Women May Result In Fetal Injury, Premature Birth, And Low Birth Weight” and lastly “SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING: Cigarette Smoke Contains Carbon Monoxide” [5]. This Act’s main purpose was to make Americans more aware of any adverse health effects of smoking and to make individuals more informed about smoking and its risks. The Comprehensive Smoking Education Act came into effect on January 1, 1985. “CSTHEA requires, in part, that each person who manufactures, packages, or imports smokeless tobacco products to annually submit to the Department of Health and Human Services the list of ingredients added to tobacco in the manufacture of smokeless tobacco products as well as a specification of the quantity of nicotine contained in each smokeless tobacco product.”[6] Even though young people are aware of the seriousness of smoking, studies suggest that those who smoke do not apply those views of risks to them personally. Studies also suggest that young people who start smoking know about the addictive properties of nicotine but do not believe that they will become addicted. [8] Because of these studies the FDA became more aware of the children and adolescents that smoke.
In 1997, the federal drug administration’s goal was to just all young people smoking in half. The FDA plan also called for a restriction of cigarette advertising. “The FDA advertising provisions which would take effect in a year would: (a) Outlaw cigarette and chewing tobacco billboards within one-thousand feet of schools and public playgrounds. (b) Require all other tobacco billboards to be in black and white and use words only. No color, no pictures. Same for ads in and on buses. (c) Limit tobacco ads to black and white and text only publications with a significant youth readership. That would be any magazine or newspaper with either more than fifteen percent of its total readership under age eighteen or more than two million readers under eighteen. (d) Store check-out counters and other places where tobacco products are sold also would be restricted to black and white text ads except in locations such as nightclubs where young people are not allowed. (e) Prohibit the sale or giveaway of caps, gym bags and other items bearing the brand name or log of a cigarette or smokeless product. (f) Ban teams or entries or entertainment events. Corporate names, such as, Philip Morris, would be permitted” [7]. This however was not passed because a judged ruled that the FDA could not ban tobacco advertising in magazines, on billboards that were 1000 feet from a school, or on clothes apparel.
On June 22, 2010, a new restriction took place toward tobacco advertisement through the family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. This Act stops tobacco industries from advertising on sports, music, and other cultural events, and also the tobacco companies cannot advertise on t-shirts, hats, or other apparel. This Act will eventually lead to all tobacco advertisements to consist of black text with a white background. [3]
Joe Camel, a cartoon caricature, used to represent a brand of cigarettes, became a key advertising figure. According to the Federal Trade Commission, “Unfair methods of competition…and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce, are declared unlawful” (Mizecki 60).[9] The FTC noticed that the cartoon representing camel cigarettes was an unfair advertising practice because the cartoon, Joe Camel, attracted the attention of children. “A selective ban on Joe Camel advertising is preferable constitutionally to a more general ban on cigarette advertising, because it will not prevent the dissemination of advertising and information, but instead focuses on a particular ad campaign that has been shown to hold greater appeal for children than it does for adults” (Mizecki 58). [9]
Joe Camel is recognized by nighty-eight percent of teens, which is a bit more than the percentage of the teens that knew the Marlboro Cowboy. Twenty-four percent of children were about to match the Marlboro cigarettes with the Marlboro man. Studies show that teenagers are three times more responsive to cigarette advertising to adults. “Recent studies have shown that older children have an even higher recognition of cigarette trade characters” (Mizecki 66). [9]
Cigarette companies make smoking look fun, sexy, fashionable, masculine and even healthy at times. You would never see someone in wheelchair breathing from tube telling you to smoke their brand of cigarettes in a commercial; the cigarette companies use the bold, blond and beautiful to do their advertising. “ Half the teens surveyed felt that Camel advertisements that featured Joe Camel and his friends hanging out, playing pool, did make smoking more appealing” (Mizecki 120). [9] Even though teens found cigarettes attractive after seeing these ads, they did not want to go out and buy that particular brand.
One main reason that teens take up smoking is that it tends to be a popular thing to do. When teens start smoking they don’t decide which brand to smoke from the advertisements they see, they decide what brand they are going to smoke because of what brand their friends are smoking. Depending on what brand you choose to smoke will decide how “cool” you are. “Image makes brands popular, not advertisements” (Mizecki 125). Joe Camel is portrayed as cool and popular in advertisements.
Another thing that can determine what brand of cigarettes is what brand the adults around them are smoking. One survey found that teens began smoking Marlboro’s because it was a more adult brand to choose from. Because Joe Camel is a cartoon, camels when represented by Joe Camel are considered less adult than Marlboros. The people around the teens determine which brand is considered more “adult”.
A third reason for which brand is chosen by teens is the cost. What teens usually want is the cheapest or most available brand of cigarettes. The price per cigarette pack is a huge determining factor when teens and adults determine what brand to buy. Promotional items are another reason for both teens and adult to buy a certain brand of cigarettes. Such as the “Marlboro Miles” in which the consumer saves up for a promotional good that the Marlboro campaign advertises for.
The result from bans on cigarette advertising has not really done what was expected of it. For example, many teens take up smoking due to peer pressure. They see their friends smoking and think its cool, so in return they experiment too. Sometimes smoking is used to be accepted into a group. Another reason teens are smoking is to be an “adult.” Children want to be grown up, or act like older people, in return, they feel smoking will help them achieve this. Marlboro’s tend to be the more adult brand cigarette. People have made the correlation between advertising and smoking because Marlboro is one of the most heavily smoke brands in the United States and one of the most heavily advertised. However the correlation has no basis in fact. The only reason that Marlboro’s are the most heavily smoked brand in the United States is because they are considered more “adult-like.” People smoke for various reasons. Many of which are not from advertisements of cigarettes. Therefore, there are many factors that add to the problems of underage smokers, and campaigning

Sources cigarette
[1] http://www.druglibrary.org/Schaffer/LIBRARY/studies/nc/nc2b.htm
[2] http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/reports/smokeless97.htm
[3] http://www.fda.gov/TobaccoProducts/ProtectingKidsfromTobacco/RegsRestrictingSale/default.htm
[4] Handbook of Health Behavior Research IV by Gochman, page 237, ISBN 0-306-45446-7
[5] http://uscode.house.gov/download/pls/15C36.txt
[6] http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/tobacco_industry/reporting/faqs/index.htm#two
[7]http://www.fda.gov/downloads/AdvisoryCommittees/CommitteesMeetingMaterials/TobaccoProductsScientificAdvisoryCommittee/UCM204344.pdf
[8] http://litigation-essentials.lexisnexis.com/webcd/app?action=DocumentDisplay&crawlid=1&doctype=cite&docid=24+Am.+J.+L.+and+Med.+89&srctype=smi&srcid=3B15&key=55a95e70ee7c3ac721e4d5c87ab77d40
[9] . Mizerski R. The relationship between cartoon trade character recognition and attitude toward product category in young children. J Marketing. 1995;59:58-70.…...

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