- Term Papers and Free Essays

Tobacco Advertising & Its Dangeroues Effects On Young People

Essay by   •  November 23, 2010  •  2,321 Words (10 Pages)  •  1,669 Views

Essay Preview: Tobacco Advertising & Its Dangeroues Effects On Young People

Report this essay
Page 1 of 10

Tobacco Advertising and its dangerous effects on young people.

Tobacco Advertising Makes Young People Their Chief Target

Everyday 3,000 children start smoking, most them between the ages of 10 and 18. These kids account for 90 percent of all new smokers. In fact, 90 percent of all adult smokers said that they first lit up as teenagers (Roberts). These statistics clearly show that young people are the prime target in the tobacco wars. The cigarette manufacturers may deny it, but advertising and promotion play a vital part in making these facts a reality (Roberts).

The kings of these media ploys are Marlboro and Camel. Marlboro uses a fictional western character called The Marlboro Man, while Camel uses Joe Camel, a high-rolling, swinging cartoon character. Joe Camel, the "smooth character" from R.J. Reynolds, who is shown as a dromedary with complete style has been attacked by many Tobacco-Free Kids organizations as a major influence on the children of America. Dr. Lonnie Bristow, AMA (American Medical Association) spokesman, remarks that "to kids, cute cartoon characters mean that the product is harmless, but cigarettes are not harmless. They have to know that their ads are influencing the youth under 18 to begin smoking"(Breo). Researchers at the Medical College of Georgia report that almost as many 6-year olds recognize Joe Camel as know Mickey Mouse (Breo). That is very shocking information for any parent to hear.

The industry denies that these symbols target people under 21 and claim that their advertising goal is simply to promote brand switching and loyalty. Many people disagree with this statement such as Illinois Rep. Richard Durbin who states " If we can reduce the number of young smokers, the tobacco companies will be in trouble and they know it "(Roberts). So what do the tobacco companies do to keep their industry alive and well? Seemingly, they go toward a market that is not fully aware of the harm that cigarettes are capable of.

U.S. News recently featured a discussion of the smoking issue with 20 teenagers from suburban Baltimore. The group consisted of ten boys and ten girls between the ages of 15 and 17. When asked why they started smoking, they gave two contradictory reasons: They wanted to be a part of a peer group. They also wanted to reach out and rebel at the same time. "When you party, 75 to 90 percent of the kids are smoking. It makes you feel like you belong," says Devon Harris, a senior at Woodlawn High. Teens also think of smoking as a sign of independence. The more authority figures tell them not to smoke, the more likely they are to pick up the habit (Roberts). The surprising thing is that these kids know that they are being influenced by cigarette advertising.

If these kids know that this advertising is manipulating them, why do they still keep smoking? The ads are everywhere, especially in teen-oriented magazines, such as Rolling Stone and Spin. The ads also fuel some of the reasons the children gave for starting. They represent rebellion, independence, acceptance and happiness. These are all the things a young person, between childhood and adolescence, needs and desires. This type of advertising, on top of peer pressure, is the mystery behind the rise in adolescent smoking.

How do we stop the future of America from smoking? Here are three things that the experts recommend. Try to convince your children that smoking is not cool. Talk to your kids at a young age about the dangers of smoking. Identify family members who smoke and ask them to stop (Thomas).

Children are the most valuable commodity we are given in life. Let's try to educate them while they're young to be independent thinkers and to not be swayed by the tobacco companies who are trying to take advantage of their mind and body.

Cigarettes are poisonous. This is not someone trying to tell you what to do with your life. This is a fact. Cigarettes make people look bad because it is bad, but the ones who are really bad are the cigarette executives in their yachts laughing at people while they get cancer and make them rich. Smoking can cause many diseases and contain many chemicals that can cause cancer known as carcinogens. So should cigarette companies be able to advertise something that directly causes death? In my opinion they should not. Cigarette ads give false perceptions, they can cause cancer and also cause many deaths, it also has been proven that the cigarette companies have spread lies and specifically lure teens through nicotine.

Cigarettes have progressed very much throughout the years. Cigarettes began thousands of years ago with the Indians. The Indians used tobacco in their peace pipes to free the evil spirits through their bodies. They believed that the spirits were released through the smoke. The Indians used it only for good and they also grew the tobacco themselves. Around the early 1900's cigarettes had become a popular and familiar object that was used for social events. It was used mostly by the wealthy because they could afford cigarettes. The cigarette companies were aware of the harm that cigarettes could do to the human body, but the consumers were not notified of the dangers so they kept on purchasing the item. George Fulton, a cigarette addiction expert, said "Since consumers were unaware of the dangers of cigarettes, it was simply a norm that the wealthy lived by." [Brown, p.238] The past has had a great effect on cigarette ads.

In the 1930's cigarettes had become a huge money maker for the cigarette companies. To make sure that people would keep on buying their products they added nicotine to the cigarettes. This made people more addicted to the product so they would purchase cigarettes more often. They also added filters to add extra flavor to the product. Cigarette advertisements more commonly were found and they were also giving false impressions of cigarettes. For example, one advertisement from 1932 advertises their cigarettes as a great Christmas gift. It has cartoon decorations of Santa Clause on the cigarette box it said, "Great gift for all smokers and comes in a great gift box for easy giving." The advertisement gives a message that smoking is okay and would be a great gift. Even throughout the 1930's cigarettes had remained successful.

Tobacco is one of the leading preventable causes of death in Malaysia. Under the current law, smoking is banned in all public places. These include amusement centres, theatres, hospitals, clinics, public vehicles and air-conditioned restaurants. Likewise, anyone under age of eighteen is not allowed to buy



Download as:   txt (13.8 Kb)   pdf (152.6 Kb)   docx (14.2 Kb)  
Continue for 9 more pages »
Only available on
Citation Generator

(2010, 11). Tobacco Advertising & Its Dangeroues Effects On Young People. Retrieved 11, 2010, from

"Tobacco Advertising & Its Dangeroues Effects On Young People" 11 2010. 2010. 11 2010 <>.

"Tobacco Advertising & Its Dangeroues Effects On Young People.", 11 2010. Web. 11 2010. <>.

"Tobacco Advertising & Its Dangeroues Effects On Young People." 11, 2010. Accessed 11, 2010.