Tobacco Fact File


Tobacco Advertising and YOU


Each year, tobacco companies spend BILLIONS of dollars on marketing promotions carefully designed so that they'll be appealing to young people.  The Surgeon General has even said that tobacco advertising does "foster the uptake of smoking" and that "cigarette advertising appears to increase young people's risk of smoking" (Surgeon General's Report, 1994).  

Here's some facts about tobacco advertising that you may not have known.  Learn about what's really going on so that you can protect yourself and your loved ones from falling victim to the marketing strategies of the tobacco companies!  

- About 85% of teen smokers smoke Marlboro, Newport, or Camel cigarettes.  It's no coincidence that those are the 3 most heavily advertised brands.
- Cigarette ads are based on images that glamorize smoking and suggest that certain types of people smoke their brands.
- in 1991, the Tobacco Industry spent 4.6 billion dollars on advertising and promoting the cigarette industry - that's $12.6 million per day , or $8,760 per MINUTE.
- Teens are 3 times as likely as adults to respond to cigarette ads (Pollay, 1996)
- When Joe Camel was introduced in 1988, Camel's share of the teen market increased from .5% to 8% in only one year. By 1991, in just 3 short years, Joe Camel helped increase Camel's share of the teen Market to 33%!
- Joe Camel has been found in scientific experiments to be as familiar and recognizable to 6 year-olds as Mickey Mouse. 

- A review of cigarette advertising and youth smoking rates indicated that sudden rises in teen smoking coincided with large-scale cigarette advertising campaigns (Pierce et al, 1995).
- Advertising has a bigger effect on teen smoking than being exposed to family and peers who smoke!  Non-smoking teens who notice tobacco ads are 4 times more likely to become smokers than teens who don't notice tobacco ads.  On the other hand, teens who are exposed to family and friends who smoke are less than twice as likely to begin smoking than teens who aren't exposed to smokers (Pierce et al, 1995).
- 60% of teens who've never smoked can name a favorite tobacco ad (Pierce et al, 1995)
- 44% of 12-13 year-old girls believe that cigarette ads suggest that smoking helps people stay thin (Pierce et al, 1995)
- On average, when a cigarette brand increases its advertising budget by 10%, its share of the adult smoking market grows 3%, but its share of the teen smoking market grows 9% (Pollay, 1996)
- 30% of teens aged 12-17 own at least one tobacco promotional item (Gallup International Institute, 1992).
- In R.J. Reynold's pamphlet on youth smoking, "Right Decisions, Right Now," there is a list of "What's Hot" among teens.  The list includes, among other things, denim and playing pool.  In a Camel Cash Catalog, also published by R.J. Reynolds, Joe Camel is shown in denim, playing pool (Cohen, 1994).
- While overall cigarette advertising in magazines has declined sharply in recent years, the number of ads per issue in magazines with substantial youth readership has remained constant (AMA, 1993).