Should tobacco advertising be restricted? This is a very controversial issue. There is the idea that young children that smoke started smoking because of advertisements, but there is also the idea that children start smoking for other reasons. Many big, well-known tobacco companies like RJ Reynolds are being sued for their advertisements. On Monday April 20th, 1998 the jury heard a testimony from Lynn Beasly, the marketing vice president of the RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company. The courts believed that the advertisement was directed towards children under the age of 18, due to a document from the RJ Reynolds Board of Directors showing that they set a goal to increase the company's market share among 14 to 24 year olds. Lynn Beasly claimed that she didn't know if an ad directed toward an 18-year-old would also attract children under the age of 18. She also stated that the "Joe Camel" campaign was not intended to target children. Tobacco companies say that youth smokers are not especially valuable to the companies. So all these lawsuits are useless. What makes no sense is that the government makes more money per pack of cigarettes than any other cigarette company, and they're the ones suing and bringing up these statistics and issues.
In this case in particular a cartoon character was used to sell cigarettes to adults. Many tobacco companies use objects that would attract children, like actors and actresses and scenes in their favorite movies. Tobacco advertisers also make tobacco use seem sexy, fun, glamorous, macho and most insidiously healthful. Directors of movies put tobacco scenes in movies with some of children's favorite actors like Will Smith, Robin Williams, Tom Cruise, Matthew McConaughey, and even the famous cartoon character, Roger Rabbit. Some movies that these actors are in have had large youth box office takes, like; "A Time to Kill", "Independence Day", "Birdcage", "Mission Impossible" and "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" The actors in these movies are some children's role models.
There are a lot of surprising statistics that make the government and the people sue big tobacco advertisers. Like the fact that tobacco is the only legal product that causes death and disability when used as intended. Cigarettes kill more than 400,000 Americans every year, that's more than AIDS, alcohol, car accidents...
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...ing because of the advertisements. This will also decrease the eighty-six percent of people who smoke the three most heavily advertised brands. The likeliness of children to smoke who encounter tobacco promotional items will decrease. Ninety-percent of adults who smoke now started before the age of 18. If all of these numbers decrease then the overall amount of children who smoke will decrease and almost disappear.
American Lung Association. "Tobacco Product Advertising and Promotion." Sept. 2000
<http://www.lungusa.org/tobacco/advertising_factsheet99.html> (17 Nov. 2000)
Morris, Philip U.S.A. "Tobacco Issues."
<http://www.philipmorrisusa.com/DisplayPageWithTopic.asp?ID=56> (20 Dec.
Report, FTC. "Federal Trade Commission Staff Report on the Cigarette Advertising
Investigation." May 1981
<html://www.mvusd.k12.ca.us/hs/cshsweb/ftc.html> (17 Nov. 2000)
Reynolds, RJ Tobacco Company. "Health Issues."
<http://www.rjrt.com/TI/pages/Ticover.asp> (17 Nov. 2000)
Youth Media Network. "Tobacco Advertising." 16 Nov. 2000
<html://www.ymn.org/newstats/advertising.shtml> (17 Nov. 2000)
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